Kim Bailey is weighing up his options for prolific winner First Flow – which include the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
The durable eight-year-old landed Wetherby’s Castleford Chase in typically game fashion on Sunday, never looking likely to win until close home.
That was a fifth win in a row, taking his record over fences to six successes from 10 starts and therefore fully deserving a step up in class.
“Bizarrely there are actually quite a few races suitable for him between now and the end of February,” said Bailey.
“There’s a handicap at Sandown, the Grade One at Ascot and there’s races at Newbury and Doncaster also – so there are three or four to consider.
“He loves heavy ground. But Wetherby was an extraordinary performance really – I doubt the ground has ever been as bad there, because (jockey) David Bass said it made Ffos Las look quite good!”
First Flow looked in trouble at various stages, but got the job done again in the end.
Bailey added: “It wasn’t great to watch, but it was a phenomenal performance – especially when you consider he was playing catch-up because the leader (Maracudja) got such a flying start.
“I thought that had been outlawed – if he’d won I might have complained!
“That’s five in a row he’s won, and he’s a complete freak.
“I’m so pleased for his owner Tony Solomons, because he’s been with me since my second season training, and the last horse he had with me was Harry Topper. He’s loving it.”
First Flow is one of 12 entries for the Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase, with last year’s victor Defi Du Seuil in the mix to defend his title after pulling up on his seasonal return at Cheltenham in November.
Reigning champion chaser Politologue is one of two contenders for Paul Nicholls along with Duc Des Genievres, and Jessica Harrington is also potentially double-handed with Sizing Pottsie and Impact Factor.
Benatar, Bun Doran, Esprit Du Large, Fanion D’Estruval, Le Patriote and Riders Onthe Storm complete the list of contenders.