Ruth Jefferson's stable star Waiting Patiently is set to be back sooner than expected and could return at Kempton on Saturday if the ground conditions are suitable for the Grade 1 winner.
The eight year old gelding was unbeaten over fences winning his first six starts, with his biggest achievement to date coming at Ascot in February when he landed the Grade 1 Ascot Chase.
This season his trainer was by his name patient with his return after having a setback last year which saw him miss the Cheltenham festival and the Grand National meeting.
He returned at Kempton on Boxing Day in the King George VI Chase and went off at second favourite. He was travelling lovely into the race when he was brought down by the falling Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai and unseated rider Brian Hughes.
The Jefferson trained horse returned to his stables in Yorkshire luckily with no bad effects from the race and just a sense of bad luck after being off the track for a substantial amount if time and had a serious chance to land another Grade 1 but on his seasonal return.
(Credit At The Races) The trainer said: “We’ve put him in the Listed race on Saturday, and it all depends on the ground. There is a bit of rain forecast, but a bit of rain might not be enough. We’ll just have to wait and see.
“He’s fit and ready to go. We’ve had no issues at all since the King George.
“If he’d been brought down and come back with problems that would have been a nightmare. It was bad enough being brought down, but at least he came back absolutely fine.”
Waiting Patiently is entered into the two-and-a-half-mile 32Red Casino Chase which could see a field of 12 go to post featuring some star names that will be heading the Cheltenham Festival.
Mick Channon's festival winner Mister Whittaker looks set to be entered alongside Kim Bailey's up and coming chaser Charbel. Nicky Henderson could enter Top Notch after his disappointing seasonal debut.
The eight year old, if this weekends run does not go to plan and the ground is not to the liking of his trainer, he could go on to take on arguably the horse of the year so far in Nicky Henderson's Altior in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot a week on Saturday.
He could also head to the Dublin Racing Festival in early February at Leopardstown but this is just a thought for the time being.
(Credit At The Races) Jefferson added: “If we wait for the Clarence House he’d probably be taking on Altior – and when you’re taking a horse like him, with everything in his favour, you know going into it the scales are tipped against you.
“He’s in the two Grade Ones at Leopardstown – the Irish Gold Cup and the two-mile race (Dublin Chase) – and after that you’ve got the Ascot Chase.
“Then you’re on to Cheltenham and Aintree, so we’ll just have to see where it rains.”