Emitom travelled well and overcame adversity as he bounced back to winning form in the Unibet Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
Warren Greatrex's horse was a top novice last season and finished second to Champ in a Grade One at Aintree, but he flopped badly on his seasonal return at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.
He didn't jump well that day and his trainer blamed rustiness, but he left that effort way behind in the Grade Two contest at Haydock on Saturday.
Gavin Sheehan got him jumping well from the outset and the 7-4 favourite travelled better than anything as his rivals began to toil in the testing conditions.
A bit of trouble on the turn for home threatened to upset Emitom's rhythm, but he soon got back on the bit under Sheehan and he found an impressive turn of gear when asked to win his race at the end of the contest.
Sky Bet went 12-1 from 20s about Emitom for the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
A delighted Greatrex confirmed the likely plan is to head to the Stayers' Hurdle now.
"We're back in the game," said the Lambourn trainer.
"We've always known he was a very good horse. It was probably trainer error at Cheltenham - I under-trained him, to be honest. He'd had the (injury) blip and had only schooled twice - and he was just rusty.
"He's done everything well since. He's always behind the bridle and hits a few flat spots - but when you want him, he's there and Gavin said he's basically won on the bridle.
"Gavin said they went a proper gallop, and it was a proper test. He's jumped well, apart from the last, and was just idling on the run-in.
"He's only six and he's got the world at his feet."
Greatrex acknowledges Paisley Park will be a tough opponent for all at Cheltenham - but he is prepared to try.
"I'll speak to the owner and decide where we go, but I'd say he's in the Stayers' Hurdle picture now," he added.
"To beat Paisley Park will be a tall order, but he's an up-and-coming horse who does everything right.
"There is going to be more improvement in him. I've obviously won the Stayers' Hurdle before (with Cole Harden) - and they're totally different types -but this is a very good horse."