The King George VI Chase, Kempton 888sport betting odds, at Kempton remains the preferred Christmas option for last season’s Gold Cup winner Coneygree.
The eight-year-old is unbeaten over fences after starting this season with a convincing win at Sandown, but he was forced to miss the Hennessy at Newbury last month after meeting with a setback.
It had been mooted that Coneygree may not even run over Christmas and instead wait for a return to Cheltenham at the end of January.
A final decision on his Christmas target is likely to be made at the end of the week, with the Boxing Day showpiece at Kempton the preference ahead of a trip to Ireland for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
“He’ll do a couple of bits of work and by the end of the week we’ll be in a position of knowing everything and making that decision,” Sara Bradstock, assistant and wife to trainer Mark, told Racing UK.
“I think we’d probably all rather stay in England. One of the temptations of the Lexus was that it might be just easy pickings to pick up, but Djakadam I think is our biggest problem. If he runs in the Lexus, I don’t think that is an easy option.”
Coneygree won the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day last season before going on to become the first novice since Captain Christy in 1974 to win the Gold Cup.
He will need to be supplemented for the King George and could face the likes of two-time winner Silviniaco Conti, Cue Card and Vautour at Kempton.
Bradstock said: “They run all these slightly doubtful stayers, thinking it’s only three miles and it’s not as stiff, but we’ll make it a test.
“Our horse goes such a proper gallop and it has suited front-runners like Desert Orchid before so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be a good place for us.”