Duel Champion Chase winner Master Minded will be targeted at the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot as his connections build him up to a tilt at the King George on St Stephens Day.
The Clive Smith owned gelding was last seen routing the rest of the field in the Melling Chase at Aintree in April and he will tackle the 2m 3f distance before going onto Kempton.
Wirting on his website, trainer Paul Nicholls said “With Master Minded having demonstrated last season that he genuinely stays further than two miles at both Ascot and Aintree it seems the natural progression to try him over further during the forthcoming campaign
“On that basis the likely plan is that he will once again kick his season off at Ascot in the two and a half mile Amlin 1965 Chase in November before having a tilt at the King George over three miles at Kempton on December 26
The champion trainer added: “Those two races will determine where we go with him in the New Year with numerous optionsopen to us at the spring festivals.”
Master Minded is 6-1 favourite for the Ryanair Chase over 2m5f at Cheltenham while he is also 14-1 for the Betfred Gold Cup and 16-1 for the Champion Chase.