Gordon Elliott expects Conflated to improve significantly for the run ahead of his reappearance in the Irish Daily Star – Best For Racing Coverage Chase at Punchestown on Wednesday.
The nine-year-old won the Irish Gold Cup and the Savills Chase at Leopardstown last year and finished an honourable third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
However, he has not been seen in competitive action since pulling up in the Aintree Bowl the following month, and Elliott admits there is plenty to work on in the fitness department.
“Conflated is in good form, but will come on for the run,” said the Cullentra handler.
“He needed the run when starting off last season in Down Royal and will need the run even more this time. We need to get a run into him to see where we are with a view to going back to Down Royal again.”
Conflated is set to be joined by two stablemates in Delta Work and Hurricane Georgie.
Five-time Grade One winner Delta Work, who was last seen unseating his rider in the Grand National, has a third win in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival as his primary target.
Elliott added: “Delta Work needs some rain overnight. We might tip away in a few cross-country races with him and head back to Cheltenham again.
“We’re trying to get some black type with Hurricane Georgie.”
The presence of Henry de Bromhead’s 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Minella Indo adds further spice to the Grade Three contest, with Fighter Allen (Willie Mullins) and Panda Boy (Martin Brassil) completing the line-up.