Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase winner Global Citizen is among 16 entries for the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on Tuesday.
Last seen finishing fourth on unsuitably soft ground in the Arkle at Cheltenham, the eight-year-old is still massively unexposed over fences.
His Grade Two victory at Kempton in December could hardly have worked out any better, though – given runner-up Rouge Vif dominated a handicap under a huge weight on Saturday, the third Grand Sancy has won a Listed event at Chepstow and fourth Al Dancer beat Master Tommytucker at Newton Abbot.
“Global Citizen will go for the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter,” said trainer Ben Pauling.
“Unfortunately for him it rained on the Monday night before Cheltenham, which turned the ground soft, and he doesn’t like it.
“Exeter has been very quick at the meetings they have had so far this season, and by the looks of the forecast coming, I would say the ground will be lovely for him there.
“So he’s in good order, we’re aiming him for the Haldon and we’re looking forward to it.”
Olly Murphy’s Brewin’upastorm, Evan Williams Grade One winner Esprit Du Large and Venetia Williams’ Fanion D’Estruval, who went off favourite for the Wayward Lad, are among a classy entry.
Paul Nicholls’ Greaneteen and Capeland, Mick Channon’s Glen Forsa and the Tom George-trained Bun Doran, third in the Champion Chase, add even more strength in depth.