Dan Skelton will give Virgilio a mid-season break before targeting the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree.

The seven-year-old claimed his most significant piece of form over fences to date when finishing second in an incident-packed Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Virgilio is now set to bypass the Cheltenham Festival in March in favour of a crack at the three-mile-one-furlong Grade One contest at the Merseyside track the following month.

Skelton said: “He is super tough and so genuine. He always tries his hardest and that is what he did at Kempton to pick up the pieces. He is a pleasure to have about the place.

“He ran well at Newbury in his previous run over two and a half miles where he was flat out the whole way round.

“He will have a break now and go to Aintree fresh for the Mildmay. We will just keep contesting these type of races with him.”