Henry de Bromhead is unsure how long Monalee will spend on the sidelines following a recent setback.
Beaten less than two lengths into fourth place in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, the nine-year-old finished third behind Presenting Percy and Kemboy on his reappearance at Tramore in November, setting him up for a tilt at the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
However, travel restrictions ruled him out of the Boxing Day showpiece – and while he was given the alternative of taking on dual Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo at Tramore, an injury has put all plans on hold.
Speaking after saddling a New Year’s Day winner at Tramore, De Bromhead said: “Monalee has unfortunately just had this setback.
“I’m not sure yet, but we’ll see how he is and hopefully we can get him back soon enough.”
Monalee is just one of three potential Gold Cup candidates for De Bromhead along with A Plus Tard and Minella Indo, who had contrasting fortunes in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on Monday.
Minella Indo was favourite for a vintage renewal of the Grade One contest, but fell at the eighth fence, while A Plus Tard proved his stamina for the three-mile distance by charging home to claim a narrow victory over Kemboy and Melon.
De Bromhead is considering the possibility of the pair renewing rivalry in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in early February.
He added: “Minella Indo is in good form and seems perfect since Leopardstown. He’ll be entered in the Irish Gold Cup now.
“A Plus Tard is great, he seems in good form. I’m delighted with him, obviously.
“I haven’t made any plans for him yet. He’ll stay in and around that trip now.
“That was a career-best performance and it was great to get it. The Irish Gold Cup is a possibility, but we’ll see – I haven’t discussed anything yet with his owners.”