Nicky Richards believes Money Trix will have improved from his fine run in the Lexus Chase when he lines up in Sunday's Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
The mud-loving grey finished second in the Christmas showpiece for the second successive year on his first start of the current campaign.
While he disappointed in the Hennessy 12 months ago, Richards believes there was a valid excuse for that effort.
"He came out of the Lexus well and the weather has been a bit kinder to us. We haven't really missed a day with him, everything has gone to plan," said the Greystoke handler.
"I think he'll run a very good race, I hope they get a little bit of rain.
"There's not a lot between him and Joncol and you'd always be a little bit worried about whatever Mr (Paul) Nicholls runs (Pride Of Dulcote), but I think he's got a very good chance.
"We were disappointed last year but when we got him home he had a small fracture around his joint so we can forgive him one bad run.
"They are all very good horses and we respect them all, but I would hope it concerns the first three in the betting and I hope it goes well for my horse and hopefully we won't be far away.
"He's probably improved a bit since the Lexus as that was his first run.
"After this it all depends on the ground and how he comes out of this. Everybody knows he's not the easiest to train and he's very ground dependent.
"To run in the Gold Cup he would need it very wet but it doesn't do that very often.
"We'll put him in the Irish National and we may put him in the Midlands National, too."