Nigel Twiston-Davies plans to give Bristol De Mai an outing in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby ahead of attempting to claim a third successive victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
The Naunton handler hopes history can repeat itself in the Grade Two prize in West Yorkshire, which the eight-year-old claimed in 2017 en route to his first triumph in the Grade One feature at the Merseyside track.
After finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March on his penultimate start last season, the Simon Munir- and Isaac Souede-owned gelding ended the campaign with a below-par effort in the Betway Bowl at Aintree the following month.
Twiston-Davies said: “Bristol De Mai is in good shape. He will go for the Charlie Hall, then the Betfair Chase. He has made the race his own for the past two seasons.
“He has been well over the summer and is showing as much enthusiasm as ever. Everything is all good with him.”
Last year’s Betfair Hurdle hero Al Dancer could make his first start over fences in a novice chase at Newton Abbot on Sunday.
Having claimed victory on his first four starts over hurdles, the Dai Walters-owned six-year-old saw his unbeaten run ended when finishing down the field in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Twiston-Davies said: “He is entered at Newton Abbot in an extended two-mile novice chase and the plan is to go there.
“We decided with the owners that he would go chasing this season rather than stay over hurdles. He seems fine and hopefully he can do well over fences.”
A trip to Chepstow on Saturday is under consideration for Wholestone, who made his debut over fences a triumphant one at Perth last month.
Twiston-Davies said: “Hopefully Wholestone will run at Chepstow, but we have to see who is running and why. I was really pleased with how he jumped at Perth, even though he only had one rival to beat.”
Stablemate Ballyandy is being lined up to return in the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Monmouthshire track.
Twiston-Davies said: “Hopefully he will go to Chepstow on Saturday and a lot of questions will be answered then. It was really good run in Coral Cup (third) on his final start of the season.
“He will go three miles later on in the season, that’s the idea anyway.”