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."
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Toocool has American dream
Berkshire on the comeback trail
Dettori given Ruler role
Estidhkaar 'on target' for Dewhurst
Australia leads Champions acceptors
Martin outlines Jack ground hopes
Raiding party heads Opera runners
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Force and Power top Abbaye list
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Limato set for Redcar speed test
Cape set for Concorde test
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Power primed to storm Abbaye
Creepy excels on chasing bow
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Martin keen on Clonard
Cirrus heads Longchamp billing
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Beaux plans undecided
Foret-bound Byron enjoys workout
Perfect fencing start for Minstrel
Ted takes Roscommon honours
Rain fillip for Treve Arc challenge
Speed not an issue to River camp
Signal on course to Wow in Paris
Ivawood heads Millions field
Top fillies star in Chariot race
Point primed for Abbaye assignment
29 September 2014Logic ruled out for the season
Ansgar in Foret frame
Kalann team consider Champions bid
Peslier and Mosse hunt Arc mounts
O'Brien trio set for Longchamp
High hopes for Elliott team
Berry takes the rails route
River cruises to Beresford glory
Qualify swoops for O'Brien team
Minstrel ready for chasing bow
Tiggy Abbaye run not set in stone
Angel camp ponder Darley raid
Pineau ripe for new season
Mubtaghaa suited by joy of six
Fiesolana fired up for Foret
28 September 2014Keighley holds Court for Cheltenham
Mart makes Newland's day
Spin does the trick at Ripon
Angel heaven-sent for Tregoning
Tiggy takes Cheveley gold
Lodge proves a stroll in Park
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Naylor seeking Paris prize
Integral on course for Chariot
Dettori anticipating 'vintage' Arc