Connections of ante-post favourite Unioniste have signalled their intention to run in the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The Paul Nicholls-trained four-year-old has won two of his three starts over fences and was last seen finishing third to Dynaste and Fingal Bay at Cheltenham in November.
Should the grey be successful, he would become the first of his age group to win the race.
Owner John Hales, whose gelding has 9st 8lb in the long handicap and would be set to carry 10st should he make the cut, said: "Unioniste is in the novices' chase on Friday but our preferred option for him is the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup.
"I thought he ran an excellent race behind Dynaste last time and we have no hesitation in running him in this race because he jumps like a veteran. I would be quite confident of a big run and if the ground is on the soft side that won't bother him either, being by Dom Alco."
Among the opposition at the weekend will be Alan King's Walkon, runner-up to the Hales-owned/Nicholls-trained Al Ferof in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Nicholls may also be represented in the £100,000 handicap by Cristal Bonus, an easy winner of a Grade Two chase at Down Royal, and Ghizao, who is part-owned by race-sponsor the Stewart family.
Hunt Ball was also among 23 horses to stand their ground at the confirmation stage. Keiran Burke's charge was one of the most improved chasers in training last season but was pulled up on his reappearance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Owner Anthony Knott said: "The ground went against us last time and if we get better ground you will see a proper horse. He's probably going to run this weekend, as I know Andy Stewart well, but they have predicted rain coming in and it looks as if the ground will go against us.
"He could do with a blow-out ahead of the King George and if he ran into the frame I'd be well pleased."
20 December 2014Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
19 December 2014Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance
17 December 2014Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
Injury woe for Cookson
Plans on hold for Topper
Appeal success for Russell/Enright
Mulholland makes Master plan
Cango makes Catterick impression
Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum