Cheltenham festival winner The Conditional is looking to start off his campaign this season in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury with trainer David Bridgwater hoping to go one better then his second in the event last term.
The handler has made sure that the eight year old is fresh ahead of his run in the Grade Three event after finishing a good second in the contest having run twice 12 months ago.
Last season the gelding had a superb time of things having won at Cheltenham before his place in the Ladbrokes Trophy, he then headed to Warwick in a decent Handicap Chase which set him up perfectly for a tilt at the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham festival.
The son of Kalanisi in the Grade Three event, was superb, looking beat when jumping the last but staying the best of the rest up the Cheltenham hill to give his trainer a well deserved festival winner.
(Credit ATR) Confirming a long-term intention to head straight to the Ladbrokes Trophy without a prep run, the handler said: “That’s the plan.
“I don’t abuse them anyway – and he goes well fresh.”
Bridgwater has stated that his stable star is ready to go for the Newbury feature event having been smart at home after his break during the winter.
He added: “He’s definitely a bigger, rounder type of horse.
“When we (first) had him, he was quite a tall and lean horse really.
“But with the summer he’s had out, he’s come back in twice the size.
“Whether that means he’s twice as good, or a little bit better, I don’t know. (But) he’s certainly a different shape anyway.”
The Conditional is currently favourite with some bookmakers for the Ladbrokes Trophy after previous favourite Topofthegame for Paul Nicholls was ruled out for the season.