Trainer Colin Tizzard is convinced his stable star Cue Card will stay the trip in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Second to Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle at Cheltenham in the spring, the six-year-old returned to action with an emphatic win in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, but steps up to three miles for the first time in the big Christmas chasing test.
"We think he's as good as he's ever been. We've just got to keep him ticking over until Wednesday," said the Dorset trainer.
"Obviously we'll find out then if he gets the trip. It will be a test of stamina, no doubt. He's a Champion Bumper winner. I think he stays perfectly all right."
The Philip Hobbs-trained Captain Chris bids to improve on his third place 12 months ago and owner Diana Whateley's husband Graham would like to see dry weather.
"We've got our fingers crossed that the weather is kinder to us than it has been," he said.
"I've always liked the horse very much, as has Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. "If he runs as well as he did last time, we'll be very pleased."
The David Pipe-trained Grands Crus has the chance to get his career back on track following a wind operation after a couple of disappointing performances since he won the Feltham Novices' Chase so emphatically last year.
"I was never happy at Cheltenham (Paddy Power Gold Cup). I was always having to niggle him along and he was beaten by the second fence. He was a shadow of himself on the day, he didn't feel the same horse," said jockey Tom Scudamore.
"It's been frustrating to watch from the sidelines but hopefully we'll get the real Grands Crus back."
20 October 2014No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Chelmsford City handed 58 fixtures
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Alderwood to take two-mile test
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Hennessy aim for Clouds
Slade eyeing victorious swansong
Fiesolana on Breeders' trail
High-class possibilities for Trophy
Chelmsford City handed 57 fixtures
French option for Maarek
Billy back for chasing bow
Judge to bid for Breeders' glory
Pipe mulls Moon target
High hopes for Holywell
Judge in Breeders' frame
Hill stars for Stoute and Moore
Gabriel lifts Garnet for Deegan
New One back with a win
Light career hangs in balance
Stars shines on hurdling debut
King big guns ready to start
Tullius camp consider options
Doyle unlikely to appeal Ascot ban
Mullins prepares formidable team
19 October 2014New One breezes to victory
Lavelle has Becher plan for Lodge
Riches heading on road north
Down Royal plan for Tiger
New makes Kempton return
Panther hunting Canadian prize
Sun takes a shine to Cork
Hobbs upholds Showcase record
Another gold strike for Bronze
Gallant Noble a true Champion
Head turns on Charm in QEII
Madame is Ascot leading lady
Forgotten rules for Weld
Byron is poetry in motion
18 October 2014Forgotten rules for Weld
War misses Breeders' date
Rakti reaps Caulfield reward
Chatez bids for Balmoral crown
Lavelle duo top Cheltenham card
Integral takes on the boys
Noble on Champion mission
Belardo a Dewhurst sparkler
Together stands firm for Ballydoyle
Ivawood felled by plucky Thought
Crowley doubles up on Berkshire
Tendon injury sidelines Tent
17 October 2014Minstrel calls the tune
Sceaux set for chase campaign
Sari seeking Ascot gold
Charm out to show winning Spirit
Estimate aiming to go the Distance
French veteran back for more
O'Meara - G has the Force
Fallon considers American switch
Cossack maintains Elliott's record
Vautour goes chasing
Lucida heads Godolphin trio
McCoy sits out weekend action
No Middle ground for classy Ivawood
Big guns hold sway for QEII
Cirrus stands firm for Champion
Hanagan: Estidhkaar no soft touch