Hennessy Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth's participation in Saturday's big race will not be confirmed until trainer Nicky Henderson has walked the course at Newbury and spoken with connections.
The trainer was inspecting the Berkshire track on Tuesday afternoon as he is worried about potentially heavy ground and wanted time to mull over his thoughts. A dual Cheltenham Festival winner, Bobs Worth has not been seen since beating First Lieutenant in the RSA Chase last March.
He said: "We're nervous about it (the ground) and I can't just make a decision. I'd have to say there's an element of doubt and I'll walk the course in the afternoon and then talk to the owners. The gallops here are as soft as I've ever seen, but he has been very happy up the grass and worked today.
"Newbury was the obvious place to go, so we'll have to see. After that, there's only the intermediate chase at Sandown next week, but I don't want to run him right-handed. He won't go for the King George, but I will make an entry for the Lexus over Christmas, as they do sometimes get decent ground at Leopardstown."
Henderson's other Hennessy entry, the Irish recruit and recent Ascot winner Roberto Goldback, will not be running.
"The handicapper decided to put him up 13lb for Ascot, when all that happened was that it was his first run on decent ground," he said. "I'm inclined to run him in the two-and-a-half-mile race at Newbury on the Friday (Sportingbet Open Handicap Chase)."
Jamie Moore expects Fruity O'Rooney to be up for a good run on Saturday but believes he faces a tough task. Moore rides the nine-year-old for his father Gary and the jockey feels Fruity O'Rooney has come on for his recent reappearance over hurdles at Cheltenham.
"He had a spin round over hurdles and ran well for a long way. The handicapper was a bit harsh. He hadn't won off a mark that high over hurdles," he told At The Races.
"He whacked him up to his chase mark over hurdles and humped 11st 12lb for his first run of the season. It found him out and he's only small.
"He's in great form at the minute and his work's been good. He'll be spot on for Newbury and 10st 5lb is a great weight to have in a competitive handicap run on testing ground. Whether he's quite good enough, he might not be but he'll give a good, bold show from the front. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He'll go on soft ground and the three-miles-two doesn't worry me."
28 November 2014Triolo ground concerns for Geraghty
Tank gunning for Drinmore glory
Bradstock takes pride in Coney win
Bailey not keen on Arkle for Ace
Zaidpour steps in for Power play
Guard patrols Newbury heat
Lameness derails Annie Grace bid
Rubi makes handicap return
Jockeys to get compensation boost
Welsh dress Rehearsal for Victors
Irving goes forth in Fifth
December appeal date for Fenton
Upbeat McCoy back for More
Jumping Djak excites Walsh
Gentildonna back for Moore at Tokyo
Mor the merrier for in-form King
The New One going International
Sedgefield jockeys decline appeal
Henderson cool on Simonsig return
Pendra aiming to book Irish ticket
Sacre 'not quite ready' for Sandown
Irving tops Fighting field
Djakadam leads Hennessy hopefuls
George goal for Ferof
27 November 2014Coney seeks Newbury compensation
Jolly good result for Fry
Karezak takes Newbury test
Meade eyeing Monks return
Uttoxeter being monitored
Fehily answers Unioniste call
Irving fighting fit for Newcastle
Fit-again McCoy rules out landmark
Bobs confirmed for Lexus repeat
King expects Mor from Carraig
Cheltenham foes back on Gold trail
BHA announces prize-money fillip
Grant handed six-month ban
Banned Fenton 'less than truthful'
26 November 2014McCoy makes winning return
National aim for Wyck
Hand up for Becher challenge
Meade admits Riches ground question
McCoy leaning towards Merry mount
Christmas aim for Owega
Walsh expecting bold Sceaux show
Smith sadness at Mania retirement
Cadeaux among Hong Kong hopefuls
Staying aims for Trev
Retirement for National hero Mania
Fenton lodges ban appeal
Knott found in breach of rules
No stopping Twiston-Davies
Bans for jockeys in flag drama
Djak experience a concern for Walsh
More headlines Long Distance field
Tributes flow for Lady Herries
McCoy returns at Fontwell
25 November 2014Void race drama at Sedgefield
Colombieres stars in Mullins entry
Bridgwater buoyed by Bolster
Trade ready to storm Hong Kong
Bowe ponders Robin Power play
Apache on the march for Drinmore
Pipe - Stamina key to Bally chance
Sacre not guaranteed for Sandown
Tower 'sore' after Navan spill
Spirit ensures more Henderson woe
Walsh praise for Vautour
Walsh cool on Faugheen odds
Victory team on weather watch
New relief for Twiston-Davies
Nicholls planning dual George raid
Leather in fine form ahead of Cup