Gary Moore will be looking for a suitable starting-point to the campaign for Sire De Grugy, who is back in training after undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from his ankles.

The setback has put plans for last season's Champion Chase hero back about a month and, while the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on 6 December remains the objective before the end of 2014, it has caused the West Sussex trainer to revise plans for his stable star's return.

Sire De Grugy will not be ready in time for races at Exeter and Chepstow in the autumn and the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in which he was beaten last term is also deemed unlikely.

However, the eight-year-old, who took the Tingle Creek in 2013 on the way to a glorious five-timer, incorporating the Desert Orchid Chase, Clarence House Chase, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Celebration Chase, is back in work and Moore is looking forward to the new season.

"He's absolutely fine and back in exercise now. He's walking and trotting away and there are no problems at all," he said.

"He had a bone scan and two high-risk areas came up in his joints which were removed. It didn't surprise me.

"He had a month in his stable and then on the horse-walker and he's been ridden out since August 11th. It's all good.

"It's set us back about four weeks which is no big deal but we won't be able to go to either Exeter or Chepstow now.

"I don't want to go to Cheltenham to run in the Shloer Chase, but before he goes for the Tingle Creek I need to get a run into him.

"Where we go I don't know. We'll decide nearer the time."