Ruth Jefferson is considering both the Betfair Tingle Creek and the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase as she plans a comeback for stable star Waiting Patiently.
A chipped fetlock sidelined Waiting Patiently in January, forcing him to miss the Betfair Ascot Chase – a race he won in 2018 and finished runner-up in last year.
The nine-year-old’s last racecourse appearance was a third-placed effort in the Tingle Creek at Sandown last December, just a length behind winner Defi Du Seuil.
The Sandown showpiece is once again a possible target next month, with Waiting Patiently included in the list of entries unveiled on Tuesday, but Jefferson is also considering an alternative path which begins with the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
“He’s got a King George entry and a Tingle Creek entry, and we just have to figure something out with which one to go for,” said the Malton trainer.
“I know they are sort of extremes, being two miles and three miles. But we thought if we put him in, then we could have a look when we had a better idea, nearer the time.
“He’s fine at home. He’s working well and he’s happy, so fingers crossed he stays that way.”
Jefferson also issued an update on her promising mare Clondaw Caitlin, who finished third on her chasing debut at Cheltenham last month.
“I was pleased with her – I think she settled nicely, jumped nicely and seemed to stay the trip,” she said of the five-year-old, who was unbeaten over hurdles and claimed the Grade Two Premier Novices’ Hurdle at Kelso in February.
“She maybe needed the race a little bit, but there weren’t many negatives to take away from it.
“I’ve always thought on better ground she would need three miles, and on softer ground she could come back to two and a half.”