Champion Court warms up for an intended crack at the William Hill King George VI Chase as he makes his seasonal bow at Ascot tomorrow.
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Martin Keighley's charge won a Grade Two event at Cheltenham last January before going on to finish second to Sir Des Champs at the Festival and second behind Silviniaco Conti at Aintree.
The seven-year-old tackles the Carey Group Handicap Chase, carrying joint top-weight, rather than clashing with reigning champion chaser Finian's Rainbow in the Grade Two Amlin 1965 Chase.
"I just thought this was a better option for him than taking on Finian's Rainbow in the other race," said Keighley.
"I know it's over two miles and a furlong but he has a high cruising speed and the ground is soft - it just looked a better idea.
"Hopefully tomorrow won't bottom the horse as the plan is to go straight to Kempton, all being well.
"The horse is in good form and hopefully he can put up a good performance."
Champion Court faces six rivals including the other top weight, Tanks For That, Mad Max, Pepite Rose and Toubab.