Double Shuffle may not run again before the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 16.

Tom George’s eight-year-old has filled the runner-up spot on each of his three starts this season, most recently pushing Gold Cup favourite Might Bite all the way in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

As Double Shuffle has only won twice over fences, he qualifies for graduation chases, but George would not be concerned about heading straight for the blue riband at Prestbury Park.

He said: “He’s in great form and he’s just cantering away and ticking along at the moment.

“He goes well fresh, so whether we run him between now and Cheltenham or we don’t, it wouldn’t really worry me either way.

“We could run him in a graduation chase somewhere, otherwise I think we’ll sit tight.”