Salsify will follow the same path as last season as he bids to land his third successive victory in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Rodger Sweeney's charge was third behind On The Fringe and old rival Tammys Hill at Down Royal on his seasonal debut on St Stephen's Day, his first run since a surprise defeat at Stratford last June.

He had also been beaten in the same event last season before going on to victory in the prestigious Raymond Smith Memorial Hunters Chase at Leopardstown on Hennessy day.

That race will again be next on the agenda for the nine-year-old before his planned return to Prestbury Park.

"He's fine and came out of the race at Down Royal OK," said Sweeney.

"He had two very good horses in front of him. On The Fringe missed a year and a half but is still a very good horse.

"It was his first run of the season and he should improve. He'll go back to Leopardstown now and then it will be back to Cheltenham for the defence."