Our Duke is likely to have another racecourse school before he returns to action in the Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 4.
Jessica Harrington’s Irish Grand National winner began the season as potentially one of the main challengers to stablemate Sizing John in the top staying chases.
However, he disappointed on his return at Down Royal in November and it was later confirmed he was suffering from a back problem.
Rider Robbie Power told At The Races: “The plan is Leopardstown at the moment. I schooled him after racing at Punchestown last week and he felt fantastic.
“We’ll get another racecourse school into him between now and then and hopefully, if all goes well, he’ll go to Leopardstown.
“It could be a blessing. Going to Cheltenham and the spring, you don’t want to have had a hard winter and maybe missing a few tough battles will stand him in good stead later in the year.”