Malcolm Jefferson believes Cape Tribulation has earned the right to take his place in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup after his win in the Argento Chase.
The David Abell-owned gelding gave the North Yorkshire trainer one leg of a double at the Cheltenham Festival last year when winning the Pertemps Hurdle Final, before going on to further success at Aintree.
And the nine-year-old left Jefferson with reason to be optimistic of a solid run in the Gold Cup when collaring 2010 hero Imperial Commander close home on Saturday.
"He's grand, no problem. I thought Denis (O'Regan) gave him a great ride and it's nice to win a race like that. You have to enjoy those victories," said Jefferson.
"This horse has got a lot of guts and he's a very good horse on his day. He'll have a quiet week or two now, then we will go straight to Cheltenham. If you're not in, you can't win.
"I'm not saying he would win a Gold Cup, but he might just get placed in one. I've been talking to Phil Smith (head of handicapping at the British Horseracing Authority) and he says the horse is going to be up in the 160s now.
"It's very hard for horses. You can break their hearts in big handicaps off top weight. They become hard races for them, and there's good money in the Gold Cup if you finish in the places.
"I don't think he's bothered about the ground and he won his two hurdle races last year on what the times suggested was almost good ground at both Cheltenham and Aintree.
"He'll run up the hill in the Gold Cup and when you look at some of the Irish horses in it, you just don't know if they are going to get three and a quarter miles, the way they have been running.
"They have to prove it yet, and it is three and a quarter, not just three miles. We'll give it a try if he's right. We'll give them a go."
24 October 2014Sir Max clinches Mercury gold
Full marks for Bangor schooling
Milky Way on another planet
O'Brien targets another Trophy
Hurricane in hat for Morgiana
Buick happy as a Star is born
King ace back in the Old routine
Ballyalton out for the season
McCoy makes Chepstow return
Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
Duke lords it at Carlisle
Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet
23 October 2014Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date
22 October 2014December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
Burke maps out Odeliz targets
Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
Plain sailing for perfect Storm
Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year
21 October 2014Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission