Waiting Patiently is set to return to action for the first time in a year in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Ruth Jefferson had her stable star entered in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday, but took him out at the confirmation stage because the ground is unlikely to be soft enough for him over two miles.
Waiting Patiently’s only attempt at three miles came in the King George in 2018 – when he was badly hampered by the fall of Bristol De Mai at the ninth fence, and unseated his rider.
Any stamina questions were therefore unanswered, but his owner Richard Collins is keen to have another go up in trip with the fragile nine-year-old, sidelined again since being beaten just a length in last year’s Tingle Creek.
A chipped fetlock, discovered in January, forced him to miss the two-mile-five-furlong Betfair Ascot Chase – which he won in 2018 and was runner-up in 12 months later.
However, Jefferson reports Waiting Patiently to be in good form for his comeback this month.
“He’s absolutely fine,” said the Malton trainer.
“His owner Richard was very keen to try him again at three miles in the King George.
“We came to an agreement we’d give him a Tingle Creek entry and see what the ground was. If it was soft/heavy, we’d go for it – but it’s only just going to be soft and not heavy, so it’s back to plan A.
“Everything is going fine, touch wood, so at the moment we are looking ahead to Boxing Day.”
Jefferson had a more wary update on Clondaw Caitlin, who is on the easy list.
“She wasn’t quite 100 per cent coming off the gallops about two weeks ago, and I can’t find anything wrong with her,” she said.
“We’ve just had to back off for a bit, so there are no plans for her at present.”
Clondaw Caitlin, a Grade Two winner over hurdles at Kelso in February, showed plenty of promise when third on her chasing debut at Cheltenham in October.