Grand National third Teaforthree could start his season in the Welsh National at Chepstow in late December.

The Rebecca Curtis-trained nine-year-old was runner-up in the Grade Three event at Chepstow last season and went on to run a fantastic race to fill the frame in the world's most famous steeplechase at Aintree in April.

A return to Merseyside next spring is top of his agenda for the current campaign.

Curtis said: "He came in a bit later than some of the others as the ground has been so fast, but he seems fine.

"We might get him back in time for the Welsh National, but we'll see. Wherever he goes beforehand, we obviously want to end up back at Aintree."

While many trainers run their Grand National candidates over hurdles in order to protect their handicap marks, Curtis believes there is no benefit in doing so with Teaforthree as he has already shown his hand over the giant Aintree fences.

Curtis said: "Having run so well in the National last season, he's going to go back there with a high mark anyway, so there's no point in trying to protect it. He'll get what he gets and we won't worry about that."