Waiting Patiently will miss the Irish Racing Festival at Leopardstown this weekend, due to unsuitable ground alongside the threat of potential snow.
Trainer Ruth Jefferson was adamant her Ryanair Chase hopeful was set to make his first appearance since unseating Brian Hughes in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, but has now hinted his next target will be to head back to Berkshire for the Ascot Chase on the 16th of February, a contest he won so impressively twelve months ago.
(Credit: Racing Post) She said: "I rang the course clerk yesterday and was told that the ground is good. They’re not due much rain until Thursday which due to the cold temperature may come as snow, and it’s unlikely to be good to soft by Saturday.
"Waiting Patiently has not competed on good ground since 2015 with all of his subsequent runs coming on ground listed as soft or good to soft.
"It’s going to predominantly be good which isn’t really what we want, so I don’t see much point in shipping him out there. We’re now looking at the Ascot Chase a fortnight from Saturday," she finished.
Waiting Patiently recorded his first Grade One in last year's Ascot Chase, getting the better of old fan favourite Cue Card - in a battle of past against future.
Jefferson added: "He’s in good order and was absolutely full of himself this morning, so we’re looking forward to him making his return at Ascot."
The 8yo is yet to be beaten over fences when standing up to his obstacles, and looks a strong player on paper in March's Grade One Ryanair Chase over two-and-a-half miles, where he is best priced at 7/1.