Midnight Chase is set to swerve Saturday's bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in favour of a trip to Ireland next week.
Neil Mulholland's nine-year-old enjoyed a spectacular campaign last season, winning three valuable handicaps at Cheltenham and running with huge credit when fifth behind Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Conditions chases will be on the agenda for the smart stayer this time around and Mulholland is currently favouring the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal for his star performer.
"I'd say at this stage he's more likely to miss Wetherby and wait for Ireland. I'd just like another week with him," said Mulholland.
"Dougie Costello came in this morning to school him and he was brilliant. I was absolutely delighted with him.
"The three options we had for his comeback are the Charlie Hall, the Down Royal race or the Betfair Chase at Haydock, and I definitely don't want to be going to Haydock (with Long Run and Kauto Star running).
"The Charlie Hall looks like being a very good race this year, with Time For Rupert, Diamond Harry and Nacarat all definitely running.
"The Down Royal race might actually be a bit easier. There could only be four or five runners and it's a front runners track, so I think that's where we'll go.
"I know they've had a lot of rain in Ireland but they call the hill in Down Royal gravel hill because it dries so quickly. I hope that happens as obviously, he wouldn't want the ground too soft."
Jockey William Kennedy offered an upbeat bulletin on Time For Rupert having been in to Paul Webber's yard on Tuesday morning.
He tweeted: "Just gave Rupert his final little bit of work and schooled over nine fences. Couldn't be happier. Fingers crossed for Saturday now."