Time waits for no man, or horse for that matter, but Big Buck's will be looking to turn back the clock in this year's Ladbrokes World Hurdle after being denied the chance to make it five straight Cheltenham Festival wins through injury last term.
Not since Muhammad Ali returned from exile after opposing the Vietnam War has a comeback been so eagerly awaited, but Paul Nicholls' popular gelding gave more than just a passing glimpse of his old sparkle in the Cleeve Hurdle at Prestbury Park in January.
The sceptics will make much of the way unheralded outsider Knockara Beau rallied up the hill to claim victory that day, while At Fishers Cross also forged past the former champion on the run-in after previously being out of sorts this season.
However, the way Big Buck's travelled so smoothly under new jockey Sam Twiston-Davies for most of that contest caught the eye of many pundits and punters alike, while Nicholls insisted afterwards his valiant veteran will strip much fitter at the Festival.
With the promise of better ground and young Sam more aware of just what an engine he has under him, there is sure to be strong support for the 11-year-old to regain the crown he wore with such majesty between 2009 and 2012, securing an amazing 18 straight victories during that dominance.
Of course, there are always two sides to every coin and there was also enough in the way Big Buck's faltered in the closing stages for value hawks to line up other alternatives, especially as those with proven stamina will no doubt seek to again expose any chinks in the favourite's armour.
Irish mare Annie Power has looked awesome in racking up 10 straight wins and there will be no fears of travel sickness should she return to England for this race following clinical triumphs at Ascot, Cheltenham and Doncaster already this term.
The opposition may not have been right out of the top drawer, but Zarkandar is definitely no mug and has been brushed aside twice, while a 12 length defeat of stablemate Glens Melody at Fairyhouse last March is another solid piece of form to boost her claims.
Willie Mullins faces a tough dilemma, with Hurricane Fly his Champion Hurdle hero and Quevega queen of the mares' race and seeking a historic six-timer in that event, so Annie Power may well make a step up in trip to fill a void in the World Hurdle - and Ruby Walsh almost certainly had his poker face on when saying he'd always prefer to back a horse with proven stamina here.
At Fishers Cross recaptured some of the sparkle he showed as a novice when second in that Cleeve Hurdle, the unbeaten More Of That is another contender with huge potential and Mouse Morris has always thought Rule The World has a touch of class.
But the burning question ahead of this year's Ladbrokes World Hurdle remains whether Big Buck's can defy the doubters and Father Time with a vintage reminder of what a superstar he was - or still is!