Nicky Henderson has revealed his star two-mile chaser Sprinter Sacre is likely to have just two starts before defending his Champion Chase crown at the Cheltenham Festival.
Henderson has decided to bypass next month's Shloer Chase at Cheltenham, a race his 10-year-old won on seasonal return last year, and instead head straight to Sandown for the Tingle Creek Chase on December 3.
The Seven Barrows-handler said: "He is back here again and is in good form. If he says he wants to do it again, we will do it again.
"He is going straight to the Tingle Creek. The Shloer comes three weeks before and that would be too close for him. He is not going to have many races this season, I wouldn't think.
"I should say that would be the idea the Tingle Creek, Ascot (Clarence House) and Cheltenham. I should think we will also give the Desert Orchid a miss this year, too."
Henderson plans to send the talented but fragile Simonsig to the Grade Two Shloer Chase on November 13. The 10-year-old has only raced three times since winning the 2013 Arkle Chase in impressive fashion but he showed he retained all of his ability when finishing third in last season’s Champion Chase at Punchestown.
Henderson added: "Simonsig is cantering away and is good. We are trying get him ready for the Shloer which he would probably do if we didn't have hiccup.
"He is so injury and accident health prone. The Shloer would be the obvious one to start him in given that Sprinter is not going there."
Dual Grade One-winning hurdler My Tent Or Yours looks set to miss his intended return in a two-mile Listed hurdle at Kempton on Sunday on account of the quick ground.
The JP McManus-owned nine-year-old returned from almost two years off to finish second in the Champion Hurdle in March before taking minor honours in Grade One races at Aintree and Punchestown.
Henderson said: "My Tent Or Yours is good. The plan is to go to Kempton on Sunday, but that is looking unlikely at the moment because we are pretty sure there is no rain forecast for the week."