Hidden Cyclone will begin his eagerly-awaited novice chase campaign at Leopardstown's big meeting over Christmas.

John Hanlon's six-year-old was one of the best novice hurdlers in Ireland last season, winning two Grade Two events and a decent race at Naas.

Hanlon decided to miss Cheltenham and Punchestown with the horse's long-term interests at heart, as the trainer has always viewed him as a chasing prospect.

"We'll start him off at Leopardstown over Christmas," said Hanlon.

"He's in savage form, he's really well, he's doing everything right and seems to be a lot stronger than he was last season.

"I'm very happy and the plan is Leopardstown.

"We'll start him off in a beginners' (chase) and work our way up from there. We're very happy with the way he's coming along.

"He's schooled well and everything is going to plan."