Grade Three-winning hurdler Stoney Mountain will make his debut for Jamie Snowden at Ludlow on Wednesday in the South Shropshire Roofing Beginners’ Chase.
Six times a winner for Henry Daly, he was successful in the valuable Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle on Haydock’s Betfair Chase card 12 months ago.
Snowden has identified Wednesday’s four-runner contest over three miles as the ideal starting point with his useful new recruit.
“It is brilliant to have a horse like Stoney Mountain in the yard,” he said.
“He looks the type that will make up into a decent staying chaser.
“We have done plenty of schooling with him, and he is very proficient. We will go to Ludlow, because it will be a nice stepping stone.”
A step up in class and trip is on the agenda for Kiltealy Briggs, with Snowden earmarking the Grade Two Jacquart Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot on December 18 as his next target.
He said: “He was a decent novice hurdler last season and ran in the Albert Bartlett, but he wasn’t right and he spent that night in hospital because he had colic.
“He finished second in a two-mile graduation chase at Carlisle on his first start over fences, and he does want further, but it was a cracking effort.
“We might put him in the Grade Two novice at Ascot before Christmas and work our way through this season in decent novice chases.”
Snowden swerved an outing over the Grand National fences with Hogan’s Height on Saturday, in favour of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Friday week.
The 10-year-old held entries in the Grand Sefton, which he won 12 months ago, and the Becher – but Snowden believes an alternative spin over cross country fences is a better option.
He said: “He is not the easiest horse to train, and we were hoping to get a run into him over hurdles before going to the Grand Sefton or Becher.
“The plan revolves around the Grand National, because he would have crept in the bottom last year. We’ve got to work our way back from that and he has got to qualify for that again.
“We are thinking if we go down the cross country route, it might just pave a better path to the Grand National.”