Alan King’s exciting fencing recruit Messire Des Obeaux is on course for the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown early next month.
The Barbury Castle trainer reports the nine-year-old in top order following his impressive triumphs in successive visits to Wincanton this season.
Messire Des Obeaux returned from a 10-month absence to stylishly take out a Class 3 and a Class 1 at the Somerset track, but will not have Cheltenham on his horizon.
King is reluctant to risk aggravating an old injury by running his charge on an undulating terrain.
He said: “Messire is grand and will go for the Scilly Isles (on February 6), which has always been the plan since his last run.
“Touch wood he’s fine, but I won’t even enter him for Cheltenham. I would be concerned he might be vulnerable to a recurrence of his problem running on an undulating course.”