JIM Dreaper is keeping his fingers crossed Notre Pere can establish himself as a realistic Gold Cup contender this season as he prepares his stable star for a return to action.
The eight-year-old enjoyed a fantastic campaign last season, winning the Welsh National and the Guinness Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival.
The JNwine.com Champion Chase and a potential clash with Kauto Star is being considered for his first start of the coming campaign and Dreaper has been delighted with his charge since he returned to training.
“He’s been fine so far since he came back in and we would be hoping to have him ready for Down Royal in the first week in November,” said Dreaper.
“There is a chance we could have him ready before then, but I’m not quite sure where we would run him as there aren’t that many opportunities for him.
“It’s unlikely he’ll run in a handicap so we’ll just have to see.
“Hopefully there is plenty to look forward to and in heavy ground, if he has retained his form, he’s certainly entitled to be up there.”
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