Kim Bailey is gradually building First Flow back to his peak for a crack at the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
The nine-year-old has had a relatively easy time since booking his place in the two-mile showpiece with last month’s victory over reigning champion Politologue in the Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
With the Champion Chase now less than five weeks away, Bailey is preparing First Flow for the big day.
“He’s good. He’s started cantering this week, so I’m happy with him,” said the Cotswolds trainer.
“I won’t be taking him for an away day. He’s an easy horse to get fit.”
First Flow is a top-priced 14-1 for Festival honours, with Chacun Pour Soi a shade of odds-on after extending his unbeaten season to date with an impressive victory in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.
It was another eyecatching performance from Willie Mullins’ charge, for which he has rightly been lauded – but all Bailey and others can do is prepare their contenders for the challenge ahead.
Asked for his reading of Chacun Pour Soi’s latest win, Bailey said: “I don’t think I need add to the accolades people have given him.
“Getting our horse there in one piece is the most important thing.”