Al Ferof could head for the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day without the aid of a prep race.

The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old was forced to miss the remainder of the last campaign after winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November.

Owner John Hales is happy with his current condition but says a decision on whether he runs before 26 December will be up to Nicholls.

"Al Ferof is fine, he was up to three hours a day on the walker at Paul's before he came back to us for the summer, " said Hales.

"He's out in the field now and will head back to Ditcheat before Paul's open day.

"His target is the King George and Paul Nicholls will decide whether or not he has a run before that.

"If Paul thinks he needs a prep he'll have one, but given the way he won the Paddy Power he's very exciting.