Denman dutifully carried out a personal appearance at Exeter today with a racecourse gallop.
The former Gold Cup winner has had an extension of one of the stands named after him at the Devon track.
And rather than doing a serious piece of exercise, his circuit of the course was more his own way of snipping the red ribbon.
Denman was ridden by Ruby Walsh, in company with Christian Williams aboard Beshabar.
The giant gelding did need a couple of slaps of the whip to keep his mind on the job but he pulled himself together in the home straight to pull around three lengths away from his rival.
His next objective is to regain Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup (November 28) he won two seasons ago.
“I didn’t want him to have a serious gallop, this was more just for a day out,” said Nicholls.
“He did a great piece of work on Saturday when we really put the gun to his head but that will have done him a lot of good too.
“He is a character – he is never a fantastic work horse – but we know where he is by the amount of work he has done at home and he’s tightening up.
“Ruby said that on the far side he said, ’Come on, pick the bridle up,’ but he really picked up coming down the home straight – that’s just what he’s like.
“We brought him here two years ago before the Hennessy, and all being well, he’ll go there, then the Lexus in Ireland.”
Of Beshabar, Nicholls added: “He’s a fair tool, too. Nick Williams trained him two years ago but he injured his leg on his first piece of work.
“He has been back since the summer and the plan is to go novice chasing.
“He may come back here later in the month.”