Philip Hobbs feels Captain Chris will prove well able to adapt to the testing ground when he goes for glory in the Betfair Ascot Chase.
The nine-year-old handled conditions well enough to win the Amlin 1965 Chase at the Berkshire course in November, and then ran a tremendous race in the King George VI Chase at Kempton when he was only beaten a neck by Long Run.
"Ideally he wants better ground, but he won the Amlin on heavy. He seems in great form and he was always going to have a few weeks off after the King George," said the trainer.
"You can always supplement for the Ryanair, but the Gold Cup has always been the plan and we want to keep our horses apart. He ran a fantastic race at Kempton and is in very good form. He always had a tendency to jump right, so it shouldn't matter too much at Ascot."
Finian's Rainbow has something to prove after finishing a well-beaten last of four behind Captain Chris on his seasonal reappearance. Last year's Queen Mother Champion Chase hero has had a wind operation since then and needs a run.
"We've always said we don't want to run him on soft ground, but we haven't got a choice and there's nowhere else to go," said trainer Nicky Henderson.
"I'd have loved to have had another week, but I want to give him a run and we will be able to decide about Cheltenham after Saturday."
Colin Tizzard expects Cue Card's performance will tell him which race to go for at Cheltenham, the Ryanair Chase or the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The seven-year-old has to put behind him a disappointing display in the King George, when he failed to last out the three miles.
The trainer said: "This is a race we planned from Christmas to take in before Cheltenham. He didn't get three miles on heavy ground on Boxing Day. Whether he'll get three miles another day there, I don't know.
"Our view is if he's going to run in the Ryanair he needs to nearly win this. If he doesn't stay he can go back and take on Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase. We will keep the options open to the end, but Ascot should show us which way we are going to go at Cheltenham."
2 September 2015James Fanshawe delighted with winning start for well-bred Fly at Lingfield
Willie McCreery open-minded on Devonshire plans
Brendan Powell: Dark Emerald sparkling for Haydock clash
Sabrina Harty watching ground for Doncaster raiding party
Vengeur Masque facing crucial St Leger workout
Buratino and Washington DC star in Newbury's Mill Reef Stakes entries
Newmarket's Joel Stakes an option for Clive Cox's Kodi Bear
Candy hopeful that La Rioja will handle soft Salisbury ground
De Sousa takes Haydock Sprint ride on Magical Memory
Stoute's Cannock Chase likely to step up in distance
James Toller admits 'relief' at training retirement decision
ARC planning new stand for Bath racecourse
Simon Dow savours Epsom 'fairytale' with El Campeon
Olly Stevens rocked by Extortionist death
Gleneagles given Breeders' Cup Classic aim by Aidan O'Brien
Dandy Nicholls has Haydock in mind for Sovereign Debt
Beautiful Romance flies Godolphin flag on Champions Day
Jane Chapple-Hyam facing Cesarewitch dilemma with Twisler
Sam Waley-Cohen reveals Long Run hunter chase plan
Barande-Barbe eyes Champion at Leopardstown with Cirrus
Dettori likely for Danzeno Haydock ride
1 September 2015Sore Sumbal swerves St Leger at Doncaster
Goodwood winner Alamode beguiles Marcus Tregoning
Hannon plots Curragh route with Moyglare-bound Great Page
Autumn aims for Meade's Rookie
Turner confirms retirement plan
Mullins hails Fly achievements
Cadran target for Litigant
Park option for Naadirr
Cadeaux leads Cup contenders
Turner calls time on riding career
Pendleton so close to dream success
Whitman lifts Trophy for Johnston
Hobbs stars in Kempton entry
Mullins hails 'legend' Hurricane
Super Fly bows out
Belardo has six appeal - Varian
Time called on Telescope career
Charline chasing Curragh cash
31 August 2015Haydock option for 'Frankel' winner
Hurricane Fly: Best moments
Maguire making good progress
Channon seeks Divine intervention
More injury woe for unlucky Russell
Balios finished for the year
Reason back in firing Line
Newton Abbot washed away
Beloved bounds to Supreme success
Ton-up for De Sousa
Approval for new Yarmouth track
Hint takes Cambridgeshire glory
Bocca back in business
Leger hope Sumbal beaten in France
Tower-ing performance from Williams
O'Brien works his Magic again
All eyes on Pendleton at Ripon
30 August 2015Beloved rules supreme at Goodwood
Arm injury woe for Russell
Beacon shines for O'Brien
Botti banks on Binzart
Harrington ponders Jack reverse
Tullius revved up for Joel Stakes
Speculative in frame for Ayr raid
Moon dazzling for Irish Leger bid
Ivory backs Twin to peak at Donny
Golantilla 'a natural' over fences
Flintshire strikes at Saratoga
Retirement considered for Pharoah
Cummings 'a giant of the sport'
Keen Ice claims Pharoah scalp
Racing lands Winter win
O'Brien family enjoys Wexford wins
Goodwood Celebration for Kodi team
Polybius takes Hopeful honours
Twisler on the march
Rene lands Goodwood riches
Maarek shoots to Bullet victory
Hawk swoops in Prestige