Cheltenham Festival runner-up Kildisart will run over hurdles at either Wetherby or Carlisle this weekend – with the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury his early-season aim.
Ben Pauling’s eight-year-old was being aimed at the Grand National last spring before the pandemic struck.
After a couple of below-par runs last winter, Kildisart bounced right back to his best in March when second to The Conditional, beaten just a neck in the Grade Three Ultima Handicap Chase.
He holds entries this weekend in the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday and Carlisle’s Join Racing TV Now Handicap Hurdle on Sunday.
“Wherever he runs this weekend, and I haven’t had chance to discuss it with Anthony (Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede) yet, it is all preparation for the Ladbroke,” said Pauling.
“He’s in very good order with himself for his first run of the season – we’re happy with him, and he will run somewhere this weekend.
“He was right back to his best at Cheltenham. He is a very nice horse, but last season just didn’t work out for him early doors for one reason or another.
“After that he came right back and you couldn’t have asked for much more at Cheltenham, being beaten a neck.
“Obviously, he was then going for the National off what looked a favourable weight.
“But it is what it is, and it didn’t happen, so this season we’ll look to have a crack at the Ladbroke and make a plan from there.”
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