Harry Whittington will keep options open for stable star Simply The Betts on his return to action from a short break.
The Sparsholt handler hopes to have the seven-year-old back to the track early next year, following a brief spell on the sidelines which forced him to bypass an outing in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Having signed off last term with victory in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Festival, the Andrew and Kate Brooks-owned gelding finished sixth on his seasonal return at the track in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Whittington said: “He is slightly on the easy list at the moment. He was just a bit quiet so we are taking our time with him to get him back.
“The Caspian Caviar was going to be the plan, but there was something going around the yard and we decided to take a pull for a couple of weeks.
“We will let him tell us when he is ready to run again. He will certainly be back this season, as he is sound and well there is no problem there.
“There is the Grade Three on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham, which I would say is unlikely, then there is another one on trials day over two and a half we might look at or Grade Two options at the end of January, beginning of February.”