Nicky Henderson admits he is facing a severe headache in keeping all his Champion Hurdle prospects apart during this wet winter.
While the trainer showed off three horses as possibilities for the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton as part of a press visit to his stable, Binocular appears the only one of the trio to be a certain runner there. JP McManus' slick gelding has landed the Grade One twice in a row, beating Rock On Ruby last Boxing Day before finishing fourth to him in the Champion itself.
"He'll definitely go straight to Kempton - he's in good form and might have a racecourse gallop," Henderson said.
From there, it gets tricky for a handler who has taken the Cheltenham crown five times already. Another of owner JP McManus' stars Darlan, who was second in the Supreme and then a winner at Aintree, has missed one possible outing because of the deep going at Cheltenham's Open meeting, and may lose out again in Saturday's StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
Henderson said: "I was talking to AP McCoy and we don't think he likes soft ground so we'd be loathe to run him at Newcastle. Even if it was called off and moved to Newbury, as they have done before, it would be heavy ground there too. I'm not sure JP would want to run them both at Kempton either. It's an impossible situation."
The trainer has pencilled in Grandouet for next month's StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham, the scene of his most recent outing and victory almost 12 months ago.
Henderson said: "Grandouet worked really well this morning and will go to Cheltenham. He injured a near-hind joint, but Barry Geraghty sat on him last week and said he felt great. If he runs at Cheltenham, he wouldn't go to Kempton."
Henderson pitched another smart hurdler into the mix in Cash And Go, who was second in the valuable handicap at the Open on his debut since leaving Edward O'Grady.
"I think he might be worth another run in a good handicap, so will go for the Ladbroke at Ascot, I suppose," he said.
Oscar Whisky will again run in the Relkeel Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham meeting.
17 January 2017Second Thought continues on the up at Kempton
Classy Starchitect up and running over fences at Ayr
Politologue stars in novice entry at Haydock
Contrasting views on Kempton closure from prominent Newmarket figures
Sir Anthony McCoy weighing in heavier since retirement due to chocolate cravings
Cyrus Darius primed for eagerly-awaited weekend return at Haydock
Heartbreak City on course for big handicap date at Leopardstown
Decorated Knight delights Roger Charlton in Kempton spin
Australian jockey Josh Cartwright set to learn fate after riding drama
Richard Fahey anticipating northern support for returning Paul Hanagan
Sire De Grugy skips Clarence House outing at Ascot
Michael Buckley enthused by Brain Power's Ascot performance
Yanworth to tackle Contenders heat with Cheltenham in his sights
Charlemar set to step up in trip following Tolworth disappointment
Petit Mouchoir to face Champion test at Leopardstown
Un De Sceaux team pinpoint Ascot nous as key strength in Clarence House Chase
Bastien blazes a trail to pocket Plumpton prize for Alan King
Fit-again Noel Fehily back in action at Exeter
Godolphin dominate fast-track qualifier as Antiquarium roars at Wolverhampton
Harry Fry guarded against Cleeve complacency for Unowhatimeanharry
Colin Tizzard set to unleash Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Alary at Haydock
Harry Fry plans to chart direct Cheltenham Festival route with American
Gordon Elliott looking to Irish Gold Cup with Empire Of Dirt
Willie Mullins hoping Faugheen will make Irish Champion return
16 January 2017Jan Faltejsek ends British drought as Fairlee Grey strikes at Ayr
Tributes paid after death of Fakenham maestro Cool Roxy
No plans for Dougie Gittens to appeal against Kelso ban
Un De Sceaux spearheads Clarence House octet at Ascot
Vezelay on course for Cheltenham Trial
Dunphy and Logan banned for two years following Like A Diamond case
Connections mulling Arkle outing for Identity Thief at Leopardstown
Gary Moore lining up Banks raid with Benatar
Amateur rider Dougie Gittins hit with 10-day ban at Kelso
Ballyoisin makes amends for recent fall
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has his say on Kempton closure plans
Jack Kennedy shines as Ball D'Arc keeps up title momentum for Gordon Elliott
Barra banks maiden win at Fairyhouse
Grand National contender One For Arthur excites Peter Scudamore
Jonjo O'Neill on Leopardstown Gold trail with Minella Rocco
Neil Mulholland considers Cleeve Hurdle for Grand National hope The Young Master
Seamus Mullins could go Flat out with Fergall
15 January 2017My Manekineko set to take Leopardstown plunge
Ball D'Arc proves too good in Dan Moore Memorial at Fairyhouse
John Francome criticises Jockey Club proposals to close Kempton
'Sore' Noel Fehily ruled out of Fairyhouse action
Kelso receives go-ahead
Noel Fehily 'sore' but clear of injury after Warwick spill
One For Arthur powers to Classic Chase glory at Warwick
Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Tobefair continues winning spree at Warwick
Modus makes no mistake in Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton
American stars in Hampton Novices' Chase at Warwick
Any Second Now floors hotpot Crack Mome at Punchestown
Frost and snow puts paid to Fakenham Sunday card
Fine Rightly looking to show his class at Kelso
Murphy sets sights on Moore glory with Pairofbrowneyes
14 January 2017Willoughby Court impresses for Grade Two honours at Warwick
Magic show delights Richard Phillips at Warwick
BHA chief Nick Rust hails news of Levy reform
Kelso call Sunday morning check
Pobbles Bay looking to take next step up the ladder at Warwick
Wetherby gets the go-ahead
Government announces Levy reform boost for racing
Nicky Henderson reveals setback for Supreme Novices' contender Jenkins
Alan King 'very happy' with Uxizandre as racecourse return nears
Divin Bere shines in Nicky Henderson hat-trick at Huntingdon
Peregrine Run all set for Warwick raid with Cheltenham in mind
Crack performer Mome puts Supreme credentials on the line at Punchestown
Valseur Lido set to miss rest of the season after meeting with injury setback
Jaleo team hoping he can shine in Lanzarote heat
Shotgun Paddy aiming to hit Classic target at Warwick