Time For Rupert is a stronger horse as he prepares to embark on a season which it’s hoped will culminate in another crack at the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, according to Banbury trainer Paul Webber.

The eight-year-old, who ran a blinder to finish fifth in chasing’s blue riband in March, was one of 55 horses to parade in front of around 200 owners’ and guests at Webber’s open day at his Cropredy Lawn stables at Mollington on Sunday.

Webber plans to give the chestnut gelding his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday, November 3 – a race he finished second in last year – or a three-mile hurdle race on the same card in a bid to protect his handicap mark ahead of a shot at the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on December 1.

”Rupert seems in very good form,” he said. “He is stronger now, there is no doubt about that.

“His first year out of his novice season was a learning year, so hopefully he can achieve a better position in the Gold Cup.”

Webber has a new owner in his ranks this season with the legendary JP McManus purchasing Cantlow, who finished third in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and will tackle fences this term.

Alasi will look to add to her tally of six wins for the yard in mares’ races before heading off to stud in the spring, while the trail-blazing grey Australia Grey is set to run in San Sebastian in Spain again this weekend after finishing third there last month.

Of the younger horses he is hoping will make an impact this season, Webber picked out Devon Drum and Rysbrack.