Esprit Du Large retains Greatwood option for seasonal bow

Grade One-winning chaser Esprit Du Large could return to action in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.

Trainer Evan Williams is thinking of giving the 2019 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase his seasonal debut over the smaller obstacles after putting a line through the last campaign.

Esprit Du Large had ended the 2019-20 season with a fall in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham and came down in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on his reappearance last term.

After being beaten at odds-on at Carlisle last November, he fell at Chepstow in January and even a spin over hurdles at Wincanton in February did not work and he was pulled up behind Goshen.

Williams will see how Esprit Du Large goes later in the week before committing him to Sunday.

“I left him in the Greatwood. Whether we get there I don’t know, but it gives us the opportunity if I’m happy with his work in the middle of the week,” said the Llancarfan handler.

“He’s grand. He just had an unfortunate year. The old jumping didn’t go together. He’s in over hurdles and we’ll keep a close eye on it and see how it pans out this week and if we think it’s the right thing to do.”