Shantou Village is likely to start his campaign in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree on Sunday week.
Neil Mulholland's charge won four of his five starts over fences last term, rounding off his season with victory at Sandown in late April.
The Somerset-based trainer is keen to keep the seven-year-old to a sound surface and currently prefers a trip to Merseyside to an appearance at Cheltenham in next month's BetVictor Gold Cup.
Mulholland said: "He's in great form and will probably go for the Old Roan at Aintree. The BetVictor is only an option because of the ground. Probably two out of the last five years the ground would have suited him.
"If we were guaranteed the ground we would run in the BetVictor, but we will run him where and when we can.
"The ground at Aintree should be like a carpet. I am very happy with him."
Mulholland also provided a positive update on the long-absent Carole's Destrier.
The nine-year-old was beaten just half a length by Native River in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last November, but has not been seen in competitive action since finishing down the field behind the same horse in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.
Mulholland said: "He was a bit sore after the Welsh National, but he is grand now and will probably go for the Ladbrokes Trophy (formerly the Hennessy).
"He will probably have a run before then at Ascot on November 4, in the three-mile handicap chase (Sodexo Gold Cup)."