Cue Card is set to line up in either the Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after trainer Colin Tizzard ruled out a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old was a hugely impressive winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on his seasonal reappearance in early November, but three miles in testing conditions proved beyond him as he finished a well-beaten fifth in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
While Tizzard is not ruling out a return to three miles at some stage in the future, Cue Card is set to come back in trip on his next start, but the trainer is unsure where his star turn will head in preparation for the Festival.
"He came out of the King George fine, he looks really well and is back in fast work now," said Tizzard.
"I'm going to speak with the owner next week to decide where we go next, but hopefully he'll be out in the first couple of weeks in February somewhere.
"We've entered him in the Queen Mother and the Ryanair at Cheltenham, but not the Gold Cup.
"In the King George, running over three miles on heavy ground against those horses found his stamina out.
"He made a mistake at the first, which didn't help, and maybe if he had had a clear round he might have lasted until the second-last.
"I'm not saying we wouldn't try three miles again some time, but on that particular day it found him out."
29 November 2014Low-key day for Frankel foals
Triolo 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
Welsh dress Rehearsal for Victors
Irving goes forth in Fifth
Upbeat McCoy back for More
28 November 2014Lameness derails Annie Grace bid
Rubi makes handicap return
Jockeys to get compensation boost
December appeal date for Fenton
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