Junior set for Rowland Meyrick
Junior is bound for the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day following his victory at Newcastle on Saturday.
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The David Pipe-trained nine-year-old defied top weight of 11st 12lb in testing conditions by making all the running in the Rehearsal Chase over three miles.
"He put in another great run. I don't know if he was fully tuned up for that day, but he's jumped as well as we've seen him jump before. He looks back to his best," Nick Bradley, bloodstock manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, told At The Races.
"Things went wrong for him in the Grand National, so we put a line through that run.
"Up at Ayr he made a noise. Tom Scudamore said he needed a wind op and that's what he's had.
"He might run at Wetherby on Boxing Day in the Rowland Meyrick. There is nothing before then and that is on the agenda at the moment.
"The National is possibly a target again, but we'll take it race by race. How he runs in the Rowland Meyrick will dictate where we go next, but I wouldn't rule Aintree out.
"The going at Newcastle wasn't ideal, but he put in a career best on a level with his Kim Muir run. He would be a better horse on good ground.
"All his previous runs, we have been looking for good ground, but we had to run at Newcastle because of the nature of the race. There were two horses in the handicap, the rest of them were out of the handicap. It was a Listed race, so we had to run."