Guitar Pete is on course to defend his Caspian Caviar Gold Cup crown at Cheltenham next month.
The eight-year-old claimed the Grade Three prize for Nicky Richards last December when beating Clan Des Obeaux by just under three lengths.
This season Guitar Pete finished runner-up in a Listed handicap chase at Wetherby before taking third behind Baron Alco and Frodon in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham’s November meeting.
Richards said: “Guitar Pete has come out of Cheltenham in great form.
“He ran a fine race in the BetVictor Gold Cup and I just think the ground was probably slightly too quick for him.
“Hopefully, that race has set him up nicely for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
“With the rain we’ve had recently, more cut in the ground would suit him as he enjoys soft ground.
“He is a horse who acts around Cheltenham and he is good enough to compete in these races. He won this race last year and it would be great if he could run well again.”
Should Guitar Pete retain his title on December 15, he would become only second dual winner of the race after Poquelin, who scored in 2009 and 2010.