Ben Pauling's stable star Kildisart will run over hurdles at either Wetherby or Carlisle this weekend in preparation for his big target of the season in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.
The eight year old gave one of his best performances of his career when last seen at the Cheltenham festival in the Grade Three Ultima Handicap when finishing second in a photo-finish behind The Conditional.
He was being aimed at the Grand National after that superb run over a staying trip but now his handler is looking at a more realistic target in the Ladbrokes Trophy but has stressed that the gelding needs a prep run before heading to Newbury.
He holds entries this weekend in the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday and Carlisle’s Join Racing TV Now Handicap Hurdle on Sunday.
(Credit ATR) Ben Pauling said: “Wherever he runs this weekend, and I haven’t had chance to discuss it with Anthony (Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede) yet, it is all preparation for the Ladbroke
“He’s in very good order with himself for his first run of the season – we’re happy with him, and he will run somewhere this weekend.
“He was right back to his best at Cheltenham. He is a very nice horse, but last season just didn’t work out for him early doors for one reason or another.
“After that he came right back and you couldn’t have asked for much more at Cheltenham, being beaten a neck.“Obviously, he was then going for the National off what looked a favourable weight.
“But it is what it is, and it didn’t happen, so this season we’ll look to have a crack at the Ladbroke and make a plan from there.”