Imperial Commander is on course to make his eagerly awaited return to action in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained 11-year-old has not been seen since pulling up in last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup, which was his first run since he won the Haydock race in 2010.
Naunton handler Twiston-Davies said: "He has been very good.
"I haven't had him back very long and it was a case of had he taken one wrong step then we wouldn't have got him to the Betfair.
"It's so difficult when you have got a horse that has had a leg (problem), but he is as fit as I can get him without having had a run.
"Everyone says is he as good as he was, but who can say?"