Venturous bids to secure a fourth victory from his last five starts in the Betway Conditions Stakes at Newcastle on Tuesday.
After impressing on heavy ground at Doncaster in late October, David Barron’s charge followed up over this course and distance a few weeks later, before coming up short when bidding for a hat-trick at Wolverhampton.
However, he bounced back to winning ways at Dunstall Park last month and will be well fancied to add to his tally in this All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier.
Barron said: “The horse is in good fettle. We’re limited as to where we can go with him now and this was the obvious race to go for, so we’ll hope for the best.
“At this stage there isn’t a plan. He’s done very well. This is obviously a qualifier for the sprint at Lingfield on Good Friday, which is over six furlongs, and he’s arguably better at five.
“That being said, we are in a position with him now where, at his age (eight), and he looks to be in the form of his life, that if he’s fit and well at the time we’d probably run him (at Lingfield).”
Venturous is the highest-rated of seven declared runners. His rivals include the Stuart Williams-trained pair of Tawny Port and Royal Birth, David Griffiths’ veteran Ornate and Exalted Angel from Karl Burke’s yard, who has finished behind Venturous on his last two outings.
“Exalted Angel is in great order and I am looking forward to seeing him run,” said Burke.
“He has been a bit tardy out of the stalls on his last couple of starts, which has left him with ground to make up. I think he would have definitely beaten Venturous at Newcastle had he jumped on terms.
“If he jumps reasonably well on Tuesday and is able to track the leaders, he will run a big race. He is a nice horse on the upgrade.”
A place on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday is also up for grabs in the Bombardier Conditions Stakes, in which Burke is represented by Born To Be Alive.
Twice a runner-up at Listed level, the seven-year-old returned from a 896-day absence to finish second at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day.
“Born To Be Alive is obviously coming back after an injury. He ran well at Wolverhampton, albeit in a messy race after Mick Appleby’s horse (Big Country) came down,” Burke added.
“He came to win his race and just blew up really, so he will definitely come on fitness-wise, and we have always felt that he is better over a mile rather than a bit further.
“It looks a tough race, but he deserves a crack at it.”
Ummalnar is a major contender for William Haggas and Tom Marquand following a six-length romp in a Listed event at Dundalk in November.
Haggas said: “Ummalnar has been fine since her win in Ireland. This race fits in well in preparation for Dubai at the end of the month – she is heading out there for the Cape Verdi on January 28.
“Beyond that, I would say it is very possible that she will come back here to run on the all-weather.”
Group Two winner Vintager represents Simon and Ed Crisford, after making a winning debut for his new connections at Chantilly last month.
Count Of Amazonia (Marco Botti) and Bless Him (David Simcock) are the other hopefuls.