Nigel Twiston-Davies is confident runaway Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai will cope with the different test presented by the 32Red King George VI Chase, for whch he is clear second favourite behind Might Bite at no bigger than 5-1 following the Newbury flop of last year's winner Thistlecrack.
Still only six, although a veteran of 16 races over fences, Bristol De Mai put up the performance of the season so far and earned a Racing Post Rating of 185 when a 57-length winner from Cue Card at Haydock, and Twiston-Davies believes he can run close to that level on Boxing Day under conditions likely to be much less testing.
He said on Wednesday: "It will be different ground probably but that's not a worry as he's won well on good ground before – it's just that soft going inconveniences others more.
"I don't think the track will be a problem either. He's been round Sandown, and although Kempton's not Sandown I'm sure he'll be alright.
"All's gone well since Haydock. I'm sure they take more out of themselves than it might appear, even when they finish on the bridle, but it didn't get to the bottom of him and he came out of his box roaring when we turned him out the next day."
He added: "In terms of ability he's now right up there with Imperial Commander [his 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner] among the best I've ever trained. We aren't doing anything different this season, but he's going over further now and is showing just how good he is.
"I doubt if he'll get an entry in the National this time. It hasn't been discussed and it can wait a few years if all goes well at Kempton and he confirms he's a proper Gold Cup horse."
The Jockey Club offer a £1 million bonus to any horse who can win the Betfair Chase, King George and Timico-backed Cheltenham Gold Cup.