Given the eight-year-old has shown enough speed to win an Irish Champion Hurdle and an Arkle Trophy, question marks remain over his ability to stay the three miles he will encounter in the JNwine.com Champion Chase.
Henry de Bromhead’s pride and joy was well beaten by China Rock over a furlong shorter at Punchestown last month but his regular pilot believes it was race fitness, rather than a lack of stamina, that caused his eclipse.
“He’s working well and seems to have come on for his run at Punchestown,” Lynch told At The Races.
“He needed the run badly that day, but Saturday will tell us a lot more.
“He had a right good blow after the fourth last and I’d be hopeful of a good run on Saturday.
“He galloped right to the line over two-mile-seven (furlongs) and needed the run, so I’d like to think that having had a run, he should have no bother getting the trip.”
TWIST MAGIC is likely to have another crack at the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old turned in a superb weight-carrying performance at Exeter on Tuesday when second in the Haldon Gold Cup.
Although the five-time Grade One winner has failed to complete in the last two renewals of the Queen Mother, connections are hoping for a sharp turnaround in fortunes next March.
“I’ve been told by lots of people he doesn’t go left-handed, but Cheltenham is definitely not off the agenda,” said co-owner Barry Fulton.
“Other than the Festival, there’s not a lot else for him at that time of the year, so it fits in well.
“We’re still living on the memory of the Arkle when he travelled so well before falling.
“You can’t say he doesn’t handle Cheltenham, it’s just he hasn’t run very well there for quite a long time.”
Twist Magic will firstly strive to defend his crown in both the Tingle Creek at Sandown in December and the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot a month later.
POQUELIN will concede upwards of 6lb to his rivals if he lines up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 13.
The Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old is set to shoulder 11st 12lb after chasing home Tranquil Sea in the race 12 months ago.
Last year’s winner will carry 11st 5lb if he takes his chance and is one of three possibles for Irish trainer Edward O’Grady, whose Catch Me (10st 5lb) and Osana (11st 2lb) are also in the shake-up.
Ante-post favourite Long Run, trained by Nicky Henderson, is burdened by 11st 6lb.
However, regular rider Sam Waley-Cohen believes the five-year-old is better than ever this season.
“If he’s running off around 11 and a half stone, that’s a perfectly respectable racing weight especially as I can claim,” said the amateur jockey.