Tom George plans to give Bun Doran a mid-season break before a tilt at the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The seven-year-old took his form to new heights at Kempton when running out a decisive winner of the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase.
With a switch back to a left-handed track expected to bring about further improvement in Bun Doran, Slad-based George believes he more than merits his place in the two-mile showpiece in March.
George said: “It was probably plenty sharp enough around there, so we knew we needed to make plenty of use of his jumping – and he travelled away well.
“He is probably better going left-handed, but he got away with it. His jumping was excellent, and he did everything right.
“He is obviously heading in the right direction. We won’t run again until Cheltenham, because he is a horse that goes well fresh.
“I’d say we will go for the Queen Mother – and I see no reason why we shouldn’t do.”
Although Bun Doran is a general 33-1 shot for the Champion Chase, George believes he has a similar profile to several other horses he has run in the race over the years.
He added: “We have had plenty of horses that have been placed in it before, with the likes of God’s Own and Sir Valentino, and he is no different to any of them.
“He has improved – and those two-mile chasers, there is no real time when they can find their way. He has always looked like a good horse, and it’s all coming together now.”
Plans remain fluid for stablemate Black Op, who filled the runner-up spot for the second race in succession when chasing home Slate House in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
George said: “Black Op ran well in defeat. He has come out the race very well.
“I’m sure he will be heading to Cheltenham in March, but what we do between now and then I don’t know. He will have a few quiet days first.”