Silviniaco Conti bids to put his credentials on the line when he tackles Long Run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
The up-and-coming chaser has big shoes to fill following Kauto Star's retirement as he is seemingly Paul Nicholls' chief Gold Cup contender.
Nicholls told Betfair: "The one thing about him is he jumps really, really well and he stays well, which is just what you need to go to a Gold Cup. Whether we'll talk about going to the Gold Cup this season he'll tell us, but the next logical step is the Betfair Chase."
He added: "It's a race we've won four times with Kauto and he's come out of Wetherby really, really well. I think Haydock will suit him well. The only thing I wouldn't want is the ground to get too, too testing, but he's a nice horse for the future."
The Giant Bolster was one place ahead of Long Run in last season's Gold Cup, but trainer David Bridgwater is not confident of confirming the form.
Bridgwater said: "He's in good order. I hope he'll go through the ground as well as the others. We obviously finished ahead of Long Run in the Gold Cup, but this is a different track and a different stage of the season, obviously.
"If we can finish within 10 lengths of him on Saturday, I'll be very happy. I think there's our horse, Long Run and Weird Al who haven't run for a day or two, and you would think they are all going to improve.
"We're really excited about running him. It's just brilliant to be part of races like this."
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Don Cossack set to return to Gordon Elliott as he continues recovery
29 September 2016Review leads to major shake-up in BHA disciplinary procedures
G Force swerves Ascot weekend run to wait for Curragh
Postponed heads 16 runners remaining in Arc reckoning
Alice Springs leads nine in Sun Chariot test
Marco Botti mapping out Easter Classic defence for Grendisar
David Menuisier planning double assault on Old Rowley Cup
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Willie Mullins and Gigginstown House in split, Gordon Elliott to train Don Poli
Air Force Blue retired to stud in America
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Five Gigginstown stars Willie Mullins will miss
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Ebor hero Heartbreak City set for Melbourne Cup bid
Five high-profile splits in the racing world
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JP McManus pair in the frame for Tipperary test
'I lost over £1million - and just in one race. I was winning going to the last'
'All systems go' for Harzand as Arc raid takes shape for Dermot Weld
Nicky Henderson takes the long road to Tipperary with Hargam
Charlie Fellowes pulls off Fairyhouse coup with big gamble Moonlit Show
Fair Eva conqueror Spain Burg to go under the hammer
Adrian Keatley checks in for Concorde Stakes with Jet Setting
Jim Bolger to resist Dollar cash with Dundalk-bound Qatari Hunter
Minor setback forces Magical Memory into early winter break
Ascot still top of Almanzor agenda despite featuring in Arc field
Trip To Paris in contention for Cadran outing at Chantilly
27 September 2016Brian Meehan plays waiting game with Cambridgeshire hero Spark Plug
Dandy Nicholls leaning towards Ascot with white-hot sprinter Kimberella
Frankie Dettori hunting Arc mount after Fascinating Rock is ruled out
'He was nearly picking them up and putting them over the line'
Waterlogging claims Ayr card
Scrutineer floors Danzeno in Hamilton feature
Marracudja gets Paul Nicholls and Ditcheat Thorougbreds off to winning start
Long Distance Cup remains on the agenda for Forgotten Rules
Munster National to honour memory of JT McNamara
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