Connections of Junior have yet to decide whether the high-class chaser will make his seasonal reappearance at Newbury or Newcastle this weekend.
The David Pipe-trained nine-year-old has been a fantastic servant to his owners Middleham Park Racing, winning at Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival in the last couple of years.
He was an early casualty when a leading fancy for the Grand National at Aintree in April and he was pulled up on his only subsequent start in the Scottish equivalent, but he is set for an imminent return, either carrying top-weight in the At The Races Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle, or taking his chance in the far more competitive Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
Middleham Park racing manager Nick Bradley said: "I think we're going to wait until Thursday morning and then make a decision about which way we're going.
"Obviously it's difficult to say what ground conditions are going to be like at this stage.
"Newcastle is the easier opportunity and it would be nice to start him off in an easier race to get his confidence up, but then he would have a lot of weight in very testing ground. We don't really know what the ground is going to be like at Newbury yet, it might be the same situation there, so we'll just have to see.
"David tells me he's in good heart and he's had a wind operation since his run in the Scottish National."
Bradley feels a second Grand National tilt is unlikely for Junior, with a return to Cheltenham on his long-term agenda.
"We'll obviously discuss it with the owners but at this stage I'd say it's probably unlikely he'll go back to Aintree," he said.
"He's run some of his best races around Cheltenham so it might be more sensible to look for something at the Festival with him, instead of looking towards the National."
17 January 2017Charlemar 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