Trainer Harry Fry has admitted that he is leaning more towards sending his stable star Metier into the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival instead of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle on the Wednesday of the meeting.
Currently second favourite for the event in March, ante-post backers will be happy to hear that Fry is siding with him in the Supreme and off the back of what he has done this season he looks a big contender.
The five year old had been a horse running on the flat before coming over to England and he was given to Harry Fry who sent him straight over hurdles.
It has been one of the best decisions for this horse being unbeaten on all three starts over obstacles, winning a Novices' Hurdle at Newton Abbot on debut and then backing that up at Ascot next time out in an Introductory Handicap.
Fry thought it was time to step him up to Grade One company at Sandown in the Tolworth Hurdle and it saw the gelding thrive in the heavy conditions to kick away after the last and win by 12 lengths.
(Credit ATR) Fry said: “Metier is a Tolworth winner and the Supreme is the much more likely of the two races, rather than the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, but we will just keep our options open at this stage.
“He has got an entry in the Betfair Hurdle in just over a fortnight’s time, but there is no definite decision yet. He has done everything right so far over hurdles and is a very exciting novice that seems to be progressing into either a Supreme or a Ballymore horse.
“There is a race at Exeter the day after (the Betfair) in which he would only have a 5lb penalty, but then if you are looking at that why not run in a Betfair?
“If the weather keeps as it is there is every chance he will line up in the Betfair Hurdle. I think a better race with an even stronger gallop will suit him better again. We were able to drop him in the last day in the Tolworth, but we would have still been happier if they had gone faster.
“All his form is on slower ground and it would be interesting to see him on better ground. At some point we will encounter it, but good horses go on all ground.
“We would have to weigh up and decide the pros and cons whether going on better ground means we would have to step him up in trip.”