Mouse Morris would prefer to run First Lieutenant in the Betfred Gold Cup rather than the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham next month.
First Lieutenant, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, is second-favourite at around 9-2 for the Ryanair, while he is a general 12-1 chance for the blue riband. However, Morris feels the eight-year-old would be better suited by the longer distance of the Gold Cup.
The trainer told At The Races: "My preference with the ground drying out would be the Gold Cup. Bryan Cooper has ridden him before and he's available, so that is the way I would like to go with him. We are going to discuss it next week."
While without a victory this year, First Lieutenant has performed with credit, finishing third in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and runner-up to Kauto Stone in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal and to Tidal Bay in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
"He'll stay forever, it's just if he has enough toe for the Ryanair, and I don't think he would," said Morris.
"He runs above himself at Cheltenham and he's done nothing wrong this year. He's just not got his head in front. He ran well at Down Royal, he ran well in the handicap at Newbury (Hennessy) and ran a blinder at Leopardstown.
Morris is leaning towards the Ryanair for the Michael O'Flynn-owned China Rock, who found the Gold Cup distance too far last March when eighth to Synchronised before going on to win the Punchestown Gold Cup.
The trainer said: "He ran a good race in the Gold Cup last year but just didn't get home. He had a wind problem which a tongue strap appears to have fixed. He hacked up in the Punchestown Gold Cup and he ran a good race up to the last in the Lexus (fifth). He has enough toe for the Ryanair."
Morris is looking forward to running Rule The World in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle. The six-year-old, another owned by Gigginstown, is around 10-1 for the two-mile-five contest after winning three of his four starts over hurdles.
5 February 2016Hunting star On The Fringe returns at Leopardstown
Can Bellshill give Yanworth something to think about at Leopardstown?
Outlander and Pont Alexandre loom large in Flogas Chase
Triumph Hurdle favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov bids to cement Festival place
Alan King outlines plans for star juveniles
Rebecca Curtis runners dominate West Wales National field
Tea For Two targeting Grade One double in Scilly Isles date
Sir Des Champs goes for more Gold for Gigginstown
Noel Meade surprised by Road To Riches' odds in Gold Cup test
Nina Carberry misses On The Fringe mount following back injury
Peace And Co out to prove he is a genuine Champion Hurdle contender
Victoria Pendleton heads to Wadebridge to continue riding experience
Cold As Ice aiming to sparkle for William Haggas in Cleves outing at Lingfield
American ace Frosted puts down World Cup marker at Meydan
Alan King 'keeps it simple' and focuses solely on Neptune with Yanworth
Henry Daly sets sights on Sandown with Towcester winner Flashjack
Arkwrisht proves best for Willie Mullins at Clonmel
Harry Whittington set to swerve Cheltenham with Arzal
Ivanovich Gorbatov tops Triumph list at Cheltenham Festival
Willie Mullins makes monster Supreme entry at Cheltenham
Howard Johnson - I wouldn't have confidence for a training return
Sandy Thomson rules Seeyouatmidnight out of Wetherby heat
4 February 2016Arkwrisht proves best for Willie Mullins at Clonmel
Lifetime bans to be imposed in Ireland for drug missue
Barters Hill handed Albert Bartlett ticket at Cheltenham Festival
Alan King takes aim at Neptune with classy Yanworth
'Bouncing' Road To Riches thrills Noel Meade before Leopardstown date
Anthony Honeyball considers Lily Waugh Cheltenham Festival target
Michael Scudamore has Next Sensation on track for Cheltenham
Paul Nicholls has weighty Grand National issue with Silviniaco Conti
Welcome winner for Jonjo O'Neill at Ludlow
Saeed bin Suroor pays tribute to 'one of the best' on death of Halling, aged 25
French dark horse Maquisard could enter Triumph Hurdle picture
Allysson Monterg sets Richard Hobson a Festival poser with Leicester win
Zawraq future 'in the balance' following slow recovery process
Jeremy Kyle ITV racing role 'discussed'
Michael Scudamore admits defeat in race to get Monbeg Dude to Aintree
Television ace Brian Gleeson seeking Clonmel riches with Dont Tell No One
Mags Mullins retains faith in World Hurdle contender Martello Tower
3 February 2016Hefty Ludlow ban for amateur rider Theo Gillard
Many Clouds on course to emulate Red Rum at Aintree
Argocat nearing debut run for Nicky Henderson
Taunton hails Mary as Nicky Henderson strengthens Cheltenham hand
Gordon Elliott keeps No More Heroes fresh for Cheltenham Festival
Noel Meade forced to draw stumps with Cheltenham fancy Ned Buntline
Camping Ground could be pitched into Champion Hurdle fray at Cheltenham
Jer's Girl team want Spring showers at Leopardstown
Road To Riches heads Irish Gold Cup possibles
Nicky Henderson has Peace And Co steeled for Sandown
JLT option open for Garde La Victoire at Cheltenham
Albert Bartlett remains top Cheltenham target for Barters Hill
2 February 2016National Stud closed to public due to equine virus
Taunton winner Bloody Mary in good spirits for Nicky Henderson
Willie Mullins mob-handed in Deloitte at Leopardstown
Martin Keighley happy to wait with Festival-bound Solstice Star
Brian Ellison planning Musselburgh trip with Always Resolute
Cannon Fodder set for National Spirit date at Fontwell
Evan Williams eyeing Paddy Power for King's Odyssey as he takes long-term view
Cheltenham announce Festival handicap declaration changes
Simonsig team face crucial period
Leicester gets the go-ahead
Philip Hobbs salutes Captain Chris as he heads for retirement
More Of That to miss Sandown and wait for Kempton or Newbury
Change of plan means Ar Mad to take left-handed test at Plumpton
Cheltenham 'very doubtful' but Flemenstar in great heart after Tied Cottage run
Death of Punchestown great Risk Of Thunder, aged 27
Neil Mulholland - Shantou Village destination totally down to the ground
Seeyouatmidnight headlines informative Towton Chase at Wetherby
Noel Meade has Road To Riches firmly on track for Irish Gold Cup
Warren Greatrex retains faith in World ruler Cole Harden