Eddie Harty's top National Hunt horses are on downtime at present but stable stalwart Captain Cee Bee and Weatherbys Champion Bumper third Joshua Lane could be back in action sooner than some of their contemporaries.

The veteran Captain Cee Bee did Harty and his team proud when fifth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, behind Jezki and My Tent Or Yours.

The Curragh trainer said: "He's 13 now and he covered himself in glory this year. Who would have said that he'd be the 11th top-rated hurdler in the UK and Ireland at the end of this season - which is what he was. It's up to us now to do right by him."

Plans are fluid, but Harty said: "When he's right and there's a suitable race we'll go for it.

"We won't be forcing the horse or pushing him against his will.

"The obvious race would be the race in October (Friends of Tipperary Hurdle) that he's won the last two seasons, as a kick off, or if he was in good form earlier we've got the Grade Three in Tipperary (Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle in July), but it's very much a case of him telling us.

"He tends to have little breaks throughout the season. We could kick him off at any time."

Joshua Lane is still a maiden after three bumper starts but has got very classy form.

Hart said: "He was left off shortly after Cheltenham. He ran a blinder there and I didn't want to go to the well again at Punchestown with him, and that was my choice. Mr Watson (owner) rowed in with me on that one.

"He'll probably come in a bit earlier as he likes the good ground. We'll look forward to a hurdling campaign with him."

Like Captain Cee Bee, Grade Three scorer and Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle sixth Minella Foru is owned by JP McManus.
Of this promising five-year-old, Harty said: "We haven't discussed what course we'll take with Minella Foru.

"He didn't run after Cheltenham, where he ran well. He wants a cut in the ground and we were getting to the time of year where we'd be wasting part of his break, so we made the decision that it was probably going to be too risky for him at Fairyhouse and Punchestown so we let him go a bit earlier on his break.

"It was nice to get that experience (County Hurdle run) into him and as it turned out the ground was just starting to get a little bit quick for him, but I was delighted with the way he went.

"He'll probably come back in a bit earlier too and we'll formulate a plan then."

Captain Cee Bee's longevity is a great advertisement for Harty's methods and he reflected: "It'd be great if they (Joshua Lane and Minella Foru) did keep going as long as Cee Bee, but very few keep going as long or as well as him.

"There's no point in saying we're going to go for X, Y and Z because horses are horses and as the saying goes men make plans and God laughs. You make these plans and the next minute they get thrown in the air so it's nearly always better to play the long game."