Paul Nolan believes that only time will tell whether Wednesday's Lexus Chase at Leopardstown will come too soon for his top-class stayer Joncol.
The giant eight-year-old has filled third place in the last two runnings of the Grade One contest and was last seen chasing home the reopposing Rubi Light in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.
However, with just over a fortnight to recover from that fine effort, Nolan is unsure whether his charge will be able to reproduce that level of performance next week.
"We're pleased with him. You don't know until you go and run if you're running too soon or not and it's only 17 days," Nolan told At The Races.
"He had a very hard race in the John Durkan and some very good horses couldn't even jump the last. For the ground it was, I think it was a very fast pace and a fast time.
Fresh And Well
"He seems very well and fresh in himself, but you don't really know until you go whether he's flat or not. We'll wait and see, but we'd prefer it if it was a week later."
Some supporters of Joncol are pinning their hopes on Rubi Light not staying the trip on his first try at three miles, but Nolan does not expect Robbie Hennessy's charge to lack stamina.
"I can't see any reason why Rubi Light won't stay. Both Davy Russell and Andrew Lynch who've rode the horse are confident that he will stay three miles," Nolan added.
"The ground is going to be testing enough as Leopardstown have had a lot of rain, but I'd be confident Rubi Light will stay, so we're going to have to improve a few lengths to beat him."