Lake View Lad has a trio of possible engagements but will await softer conditions before his first run of the season.
The Nick Alexander-trained 11-year-old was last seen finishing seventh in the Scottish Grand National, the final run of a campaign that began with a Grade Two success in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.
The latter performance was on his preferred soft going and Alexander is likely to hold out for similar conditions before choosing one of a handful of options for the grey’s seasonal comeback.
Lake View Lad holds an entry for the Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, a race he was victorious in in 2018, with a title defence attempt in the Many Clouds Chase another possible target.
“He’s fit and well and ready to run but, like everyone else, we’re hoping for some rain,” said Alexander.
“He has three options in the next 10 days, he’s entered in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on Saturday, but it doesn’t look like he’ll get his ground, he’ll be entered for a veterans’ chase at Haydock on Wednesday the first (of December), and he’ll be entered for the Many Clouds Chase, which he won last year, on Saturday the fourth.
“It (the dry weather) will change at some point, we’ve just got to be patient, the trouble is that the season is going by fast but if we could run him in one of those that would be great.
“We’re desperate to run him and I think he’s in very good form, so we have our fingers crossed.”
Lake View Lad has twice been aimed at the Grand National at Aintree in spring, with his 2019 run ending prematurely as he was pulled up on unsuitably fast ground and his 2021 attempt cut short when he fell at the first fence.
Alexander’s charge – who runs in the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings – demonstrated his stamina when following the latter run with a seventh-placed finish in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, but a third attempt at the Aintree marathon is far from certain.
“He has been unlucky at Aintree twice now so I wouldn’t have it the forefront of my mind,” the trainer said.
“I don’t really want to be saving him for the Grand National because he has been unlucky, I don’t know whether they (connections) will want to go there again or whether they might decide that he just doesn’t like the place.
“He does also have an entry to the Welsh National, I don’t know whether he’d go there, but it’s not impossible so that would be another option.
“Something like the Grand National trial they have at Haydock in the middle of February would be a lovely race to run him in also.”
Wherever Lake View Lad does make his new-season reappearance, Alexander is hopeful he will hit the ground running after demonstrating his ability to perform on his first run of the campaign in previous seasons.
“It was first time out that he won in the Many Clouds Chase last year, he can run very well first time out,” he said.
“I’ve had a much more straightforward time training him this time around than I did last year, so fingers crossed we can keep him ticking over and the rain arrives for him to run a nice race somewhere.”