CHELTENHAM trainer David Bridgwater is likely to make Fairyhouse the target for last Saturday's Eider hero Wyck Hill if his Aintree dream fails to materialise.
Given a weight of just 9st 10lb by the handicapper for the Crabbie's Grand National, the JP McManus-owned gelding made a belated return to his form of early last season in holding Smoking Aces at Newcastle.
"He's in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham but I think that's highly unlikely as his main objective is the National," Bridgwater said.
"I don't think he'll get in, so he'll probably be going for the Irish National, I'd say."
Aside from The Giant Bolster in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the jockey-turned-trainer expects to have a few other runners at the Festival.
He is considering No Buts for a tilt at the Rewards4Racing Novices' Handicap Chase, while Oscar Hill "has had a couple of runs to get him right for the Grand Annual".
Meanwhile, Kerry Grand National winner White Star Line is among 15 horses to have been taken out of the Aintree National at the latest forfeit stage.
According to trainer Dessie Hughes, his Listowel hero suffered a hold-up in training and won't be making the journey.
"He had a setback and I needed him to run in the Bobbyjo if he was going to make the National," the Curragh handler explained. "I wanted him to have two races before it and we've run out of time now. I had hoped to get him there but it's not to be. He might make the Irish National now.
"I've got Raz De Maree left in but he might struggle to get in. He's a horse that hasn't been helped to the changes to the course, it would have suited him when it took more jumping."
One hope from these shores still in contention is Arthur Moore's Home Farm, due to run at Leopardstown on Sunday. "Home Farm will run at Leopardstown," said Moore. "We will see how he gets on there before making a decision about the National, but we are expecting a nice run.
"He has been fine since his run at Christmas. It was a good run but it was a tough ask under top-weight, so we were happy enough with him.
"I can't complain with the weight he has been given for Aintree, 10st 6lb is a nice racing weight but naturally his lack of experience is a concern."
Among the other withdrawals from the Aintree spectacular are last season's Irish National winner Liberty Counsel, the Philip Hobbs-trained Planet Of Sound and Jonjo O'Neill's Merry King.
The Rebecca Curtis-trained Teaforthree is currently 12/1 favourite with most firms for the National.