His pride and joy may have failed in the race for the past three years but Michael Hourigan is hopeful Beef Or Salmon can make it fourth time lucky in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup today.
Although legitimate excuses are available for each of the ten-year-old's defeats, many are keen to crab his record of eight Grade One wins, all of which have come in his native Ireland.
But a dearth of top-flight performers has left Beef Or Salmon at the head of the market, with William Hill as low as 7-2 for him to improve on his fourth place in the race two years ago.
Hourigan said: "I think he's entitled to be favourite on what he's achieved this season and I don't think the ground will bother him."
Beef Or Salmon has landed the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and the Lexus Chase on his last two starts but started off the season by being second to Kingscliff in the Betfair Chase.
Hourigan said: "He probably wasn't just ready enough at Haydock and Paul (Carberry) said he blew up twice with him but he jumped those big fences well.
"I don't think it will make any difference to him that the race is at Cheltenham.
"He's won round Clonmel, Gowran Park, Punchestown and Fairyhouse and has shown he can handle an undulating track.
"He's good around Leopard-stown but if they ran the Lexus and the Hennessy at any other track in Ireland he'd be good on the day. It's just that those top races are run in Leopardstown and you have to go there to win them.
"They've come from England and elsewhere to try to beat him and he was the best horse and he can't do any more than he has done.
"He's had a great preparation, nothing has gone wrong, his muscles are super, he looks well and we've had no hiccups whatsoever."
Beef Or Salmon, who has the scalps of Kicking King and Best Mate to his name, faces a rematch with Kingscliff in the 24-runner Gold Cup, with the latter's trainer Robert Alner also represented by Sir Rembrandt.
Alner said: "Everything has gone absolutely fine with both of them.
"I'm a bit concerned that the going has gone fast but there is nothing you can do about that. I'm particularly concerned for Sir Rembrandt, he could certainly have done with a little more give.
"I will be nice to finally be able to run Kingscliff in the race as for a few years he seemed fated not to appear in it.
"We are very pleased with how his preparation has gone this year and he seems fit and well."
Champion jockey Tony McCoy takes the ride on the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Iris's Gift and is hoping the stayers' hurdle winner of 2004 can bounce back from a fall at Warwick.
McCoy said: "On the last of his winning starts earlier in the season he gave me as good a feel as any novice I've sat on and, although I was a bit disappointed with the manner of his fall at Warwick, I know that if he comes back to his best he will go very well."
Top owner David Johnson is hoping to realise a long-held ambition when Celestial Gold takes his chance in the blue riband.
The Martin Pipe-trained eight-year-old has not run since finishing seventh 12 months ago but has been trained with this race as his objective.
Johnson said: "He hasn't run for exactly a year but when he was beaten in the Gold Cup it could be that his victories in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Hennessy had left their mark.
"He showed how good he is as a fresh horse in the past and it would mean so much to me if Martin could win this race with one of my horses."
Despite reigning champion Kicking King missing the race, the form is represented by last year's runner-up Take The Stand.
Peter Bowen, the ten-year-old's trainer, is convinced he is primed for another big run, saying: "This race has been his big target ever since he finished second to Kicking King last year and we don't have him to worry about this time."
Philip Hobbs is doubly represented but is still finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that his former useful handicapper Monkerhostin is going into the race as second-favourite.
Hobbs also has 2003 SunAlliance Chase winner One Knight in the race and says: "If you'd told me Monkerhostin would be nearly favourite for this at the start of the season I'd have thought you were mad but there's no question he put up a staying performance in the King George and I felt he might well have won in another couple of strides.
"One Knight was getting the worst of the argument when he fell at the last in the Welsh National but would have been a creditable second, while at Wincanton last time he touched the top of the fence and gravity took over for Richard (Johnson)."
Paul Nicholls runs Cornish Rebel and Royal Auclair and says of the former: "I've saved what I hope will be my trump card, a pair of blinkers, until now. They worked a treat with See More Business when he won the Gold Cup and I'm hoping history will repeat itself.
"Royal Auclair comes good at this time of year and although his big target is the Grand National, in which he ran so well last season, on his day he's capable of mixing it with the best of these and I don't think he'll be too far away."
The French challenge is headed by a Francois Doumen runner in L'Ami, who was an honourable runner-up behind Trabolgan in the Hennessy earlier in the season.
Doumen said: "He has run several good races in defeat this season, including the Hennessy and the King George, and I was delighted with the way he ran in the Racing Post Chase."