Voy Por Ustedes is poised to try and provide Robert Ogden with a second consecutive success in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Monday week.
The ill-fated Exotic Dancer struck in the Dublin suburbs for the Yorkshireman 12 months ago and connections are favouring giving the Alan King-trained Voy Por Ustedes his second outing of the season in the three-mile highlight.
The eight-year-old is a general 7-1 chance to prove himself over a longer trip, although he did finish third to Kauto Star in the William Hill King George VI Chase on December 26 last year.
Ogden’s racing manager Barry Simpson said: “We have three options for him at the moment, but I would say it is 80-20 in favour of him running in the Lexus Chase.
“If he didn’t go there we’d take him to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day where he could run in a chase or a handicap hurdle, but our preference is for the Lexus.
“We are desperate to get a run into him. He has only been out once this season and boils up quickly so he is ready to run.
“The issue with Ireland may be the ground as it will probably be soft and holding which would be against him.
“He did win on heavy ground at Ascot last season but that was soft loose ground and he was entitled to win as he did. He won very well and for me that was his best ever performance.
“He wants to go left-handed and we believe that is the key to him.
“He jumped the worst he has ever done at Ascot last time and did extremely well to finish third giving weight away on his first run of the season.
“The Lexus is very much a possibility, but a lot will depend on the ground and if it is poor weather we will look at Cheltenham.
“I hope it works out and we get a good run into him.”
Voy Por Ustedes is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and finished a rallying second in the last season’s Ryanair Chase after blundering the fourth-last fence.
Simpson added: “The Ryanair is his objective and while he may run in races such as the Cotswold Chase over a distance further than ideal he will drop back to two miles five furlongs at the Festival.”
Edward O’Grady has ruled Tranquil Sea out of the Lexus and the impressive Cheltenham winner will instead take his chance in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase.
A step up in trip had been on the cards for the Paddy Power Gold Cup hero but O’Grady has instead opted to drop the seven-year-old back to the minimum distance.
The Co Tipperary trainer said: “He will not be in the Lexus after noon tomorrow and he will run over the shorter trip.
“I would like to think he has improved since Cheltenham and this seems a nice opportunity for him to try and prove that.
“It might not be his ideal trip but I am looking forward to him running as there are not that many options for him.”
The Grade One-winning hurdler is a best-priced 8-1 for a successful return to Cheltenham in March’s Ryanair Chase, and O’Grady told At The Races: “I think he will get the Gold Cup trip in a year’s time when Kauto Star and Denman are a year older, but it is doubtful this year and we will probably aim him at the Ryanair.”