Kemboy and Road To Respect are among 13 horses still in contention for the Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday.
The Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy ran out an impressive winner of the Savills Chase over the course and distance in December, dominating from the front under an inspired ride from David Mullins.
The champion trainer initially indicated he could send Kemboy straight to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, but he retains the option of returning to Foxrock this weekend.
Mullins also has Savills Chase fourth Bellshill, Al Boum Photo and Total Recall in the mix for a race he has won on a record nine occasions – and jockey Ruby Walsh admits it will be a tough call deciding on which one to ride if they all line up.
He told Racing TV: “It’s probably coming soon enough for Total Recall – he only ran in Thurles 10 days ago.
“Al Boum Photo was very good on New Year’s Day in Tramore, Kemboy was brilliant at Christmas, and I think Bellshill has improved a good bit from Christmas. He was a Grade One winner last season and ran a blinding race in the Irish Grand National.
“Each and every one would be lining up on merit, and it will be a tough call to decide which one to ride.
“They all seem to be in really good order, but it’s always a very good race. At Leopardstown there are a lot of fences and it’s a stamina test.
“The best horse tends to win.”
Noel Meade’s Road To Respect was a hot favourite to successfully defend his crown in the Savills Chase, but had to make do with minor honours in third after stumbling twice at a crucial stage.
He is likely to spearhead a strong team for Gigginstown House Stud on Sunday, with Gordon Elliott’s pair Alpha Des Obeaux and Outlander and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Balko Des Flos all left in.
De Bromhead could also call upon Savills Chase runner-up Monalee, while Noble Endeavor and The Storyteller complete a quartet of Elliott inmates.
The JP McManus-owned pair of last year’s winner Edwulf (Joseph O’Brien) and Anibale Fly (Tony Martin) complete the potential line-up.