Paul Nicholls has confirmed former Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Kauto Star will head to Down Royal on Saturday week to contest the JNwine.com Champion Chase - ground permitting.
The eight-year-old may have lost his Gold Cup crown to stablemate Denman at Cheltenham back in March, but he still enjoyed a hugely successful campaign, winning three times in Grade One company.
Nicholls has been delighted with how the gelding has returned from his summer break and is looking forward to seeing him return to action in Ireland.
“Kauto does go to Down Royal, as long as the ground is right,” said the champion trainer.
“He remains in really good order so that would be his first target if all goes to plan.”
Joining him on the trip across the Irish Sea could be stablemate Noland, a former winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and third in the Arkle Trophy earlier this year.
“I’m probably going to take Noland over there as well. There’s an intermediate chase which the horse that beat Marodima last time, Finger Onthe Pulse, might go for too,” Nicholls added.