Henry De Bromhead has suggested that reigning Queen Mother Champion Chaser Special Tiara is unlikely to be campaigned over two miles this season.
The ten-year-old front runner gained a gutsy success in the two-mile Championship contest at Cheltenham in March under an inspired Noel Fehily.
With the Willie Mullins-trained odds-on favourite Douvan pulled up, the race was wide open and Fehily just managed to bring Special Tiara home in front up the Cheltenham hill as Fox Norton threw down the challenge for trainer Colin Tizzard.
Having then proved no match for brilliant Arkle winner Altior in the Celebration Chase at Sandown on his final start of the season, De Bromhead appears ready to chart a new course this term with Special Tiara. Altior is the 5/4 favourite to win the Queen Mother in 2018, with Special Tiara priced at 18/1.
De Bromhead has suggested two and a half miles will be his preferred trip, with the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park in early October pencilled in as a potential starting place.
There he may be joined by Galway Plate-winning stablemate Balko Des Flos, says the Co Waterford handler.
“Special Tiara is great and looks amazing. He might start in the PWC in Gowran. We are thinking about stepping him up in trip, and just see if it can open up more options,” said De Bromhead.
“Balko Des Flos could go for that as well, we are very fortunate with the horses that we have.”
Should Special Tiara maintain his form over a longer trip this winter, he could emerge as a player in the intermediate Ryanair Chase come Cheltenham in March. Fox Norton is currently the 4/1 ante-post favourite for the two-and-a-half mile Grade One.