Trainer Hughie Morrison has revealed Not So Sleepy will head straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March after a disappointing effort at Kempton over Christmas.
The nine-year-old made a solid start to the season at Doncaster after a 168-day break.
Not So Sleepy finished second to Roger Varian's Postileo in the vertem.co.uk Handicap in October, before then returning over hurdles at Newcastle.
Morrison's charge finished as joint-winner alongside Epatante in the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November and he was expected to run a big race on Boxing Day.
Morrison watched on as Not So Sleepy finished last in the five-runner Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and connections have taken their time to decide their next move.
After finishing behind Epatante, Glory And Fortune, Soaring Glory and Tritonic last month, Morrison has decided to rest his runner until the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He finished fifth in the race last year at 125/1 and Morrison believes a break will get the best out of his stable star this year.
He told the Racing Post: "He's extremely well and obviously doesn't think much of Kempton! He had a very hard race at Newcastle before the Christmas Hurdle and we'll try to freshen him up now and head straight to the Champion Hurdle.
"He ran really well in the race last year, and hopefully, he can do better in this season's renewal.
"I don't see a lot of change in terms of the strength of the division, so if he gets his favoured soft ground and is on his A-game, I wouldn't be surprised if he finished third or fourth.
"He's a Grade 1 winner now, so we have to keep trying at the highest level."
Leading trainers are now planning ahead for the Cheltenham Festival, with 30 entries now confirmed for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Henry de Bromhead said on Tuesday that Minella Indo and A Plus Tard will both compete again after finishing first and second in the race in 2021.
Al Boum Photo will bid for a hat-trick of wins in the race, while the likes of Galvin, Asterion Forlonge, Melon, Chantry House and Aye Right are also on the list of entries.
However, last year's King George winner, Frodon, was an eye-catching absentee from the list.