has been entered for both the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle but no decision has yet been made on his Festival target.
Third in the King George on Boxing Day, Bacchanal
is a right-hand specialist and has never found Cheltenham to his liking despite winning the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle there in 2000.
The answer could be to slap blinkers on Bacchanal
to help him concentrate.
The Seven Barrows trainer came closest to winning this jumping classic when Remittance Man was third to The Fellow in 1991 and when Bacchanal
took the same placing himself behind Florida Pearl 12 months ago.
The duo are set to line up in the pounds 150,000 contest with stable jockey Mick Fitzgerald taking the mount on Bacchanal
is on song to give Lady Lloyd Webber a Boxing Day hit in the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton.
He is set to renew rivalry with last year's winner and third Florida Pearl and Bacchanal
in the pounds 150,000 Grade One contest.
O'Neill was at Newbury to watch Native Emperor finish a brave second to Bacchanal
on a programme dominated by foreign raiders, with the French pair Jair Du Cochet and Never adding to Be My Royal's Hennessy hit.
Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson is agonising over whether to run star chasers Bacchanal
and Marlborough in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup.
boosted his claims for the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a smooth win in the Aon Chase.
It is still a race of considerable interest though and Nicky Henderson's Bacchanal
is likely to be shortodds to confirm his credentials for the Christmas showpiece.
4 Florida Pearl 1 1 2l, 4l, 12l December 26, 2002 3 and under, plater; 4-5, low-grade handicapper; 6-7, fair handicapper; 8-9, high-grade handicapper; 10-11, Group class; 12, Classic standard
But Mick Fitzgerald holds a strong hand in all the races riding the Nicky Henderson-trained duo of Iris Royal in the Feltham and Bacchanal
in the King George as well as Marble Arch in the Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson will also be double-handed with both Bacchanal
, the choice of stable jockey Mick Fitzgerald, and Marlborough among the final declarations.
As Fitzgerald has chosen to ride Bacchanal
, Marlborough will have a new pilot in TimmyNicky Henderson with Marlborough, his other King George challenger Murphy, who teams up with the horse for the first time.