Anthony Honeyball’s five-time winner Sam Brown may start his season at Carlisle in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase.
The eight-year-old scored twice over fences last season, winning his chasing debut by 22 lengths before claiming a Grade Two at Haydock by a wide margin too.
Sam Brown was then pulled up in Ascot’s Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase before his season was prematurely ended by Covid-19 and the resulting cancellation of Aintree’s Grand National meeting, where he was set to contest the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.
He holds an entry for Carlisle’s Listed event on Sunday, with a return to Haydock also under consideration.
“He might well run (at Carlisle)” said Honeyball.
“I am certainly keeping an eye on the race. If it turns out to be very heavy and the race cuts up a bit then he might well take his chance there.
“It’s there or he’s going to have to wait another three weeks for a graduation chase at Haydock at the Betfair Chase meeting.
“The Haydock race would be absolutely ideal for him – but with this race on Sunday, it would just be nice to get him out again.
“It’s a good sort of race for him – and they’ve also got a lot of rain forecast, which he’ll love – so he might well end up taking his chance.”
Carlisle could also be the scene of a seasonal comeback for Honeyball’s decent hurdler Kid Commando.
The six-year-old cut his teeth in Graded company when finishing third in the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle last season.
His trainer is weighing up whether to campaign him over the same minimum distance at Ascot on Saturday, or head to Carlisle instead to take on an extended trip of two miles and four furlongs.
“Kid Commando is going to come out at the weekend, I hope,” he said.
“He might go to Ascot – he’s second favourite for a Listed handicap hurdle on Saturday. He’s also got the option of going to Carlisle for a £20,000 two-mile four handicap.
“Both races are in mind – he’s going well and he’s a lovely horse. If he was to step up to two and a half miles that would suit him well, and he handles soft ground very well also.
“It might end up quite a stiff two miles at Ascot on Saturday if it keeps raining there, however, so it might be an option for him. ”
Kid Commando is another whose Aintree plans were scuppered last year when his intended target was the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
“We were going to run him in a Grade One novice hurdle at Aintree next time out after that (the Dovecote),” added Honeyball.
“That was a step up to two and a half. That will be the interesting thing, going up to two and a half.
“We’re excited about him. He’s a nice horse and he’s trained on well this season.”