The Coral Welsh Grand National is the likely next port of call for Ms Parfois after her comeback run in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Trophy.
The high-class mare enjoyed an excellent novice campaign over fences last season, landing successive Listed prizes at Newbury and Warwick before finishing second in the Reynoldstown at Ascot, the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham and Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree.
She was well fancied for her reappearance in the race formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup, but could finish only a well-beaten sixth – and Honeyball feels his charge needed the outing more than he had anticipated.
He said: “It was a solid enough run really. She had good form with the winner (Sizing Tennessee) and second (Elegant Escape), but that was at the end of the season when she was as fit as a fiddle and she was on her A-game.
“In hindsight she has needed the run at Newbury, and it has found her out really.
“There is nothing we could have done. The only race we could have run her in was the intermediate chase at Sandown a fortnight before, and that was a bit tight.
“She had a couple of away days, but there is nothing like getting a run in. A mile out I felt it wasn’t going to happen.”
Honeyball hopes Ms Parfois can raise her game for the Chepstow marathon on December 27.
He added: “There was a lot of promise for the run, and she has probably never gone that quick over the first few fences in her life. We went there meaning business, but if you look at her she was probably carrying a bit more condition than when she signed off last season.
“We will check her out this week – not because I think there is something wrong with her, but when they have a hard race like that you just want to check it hasn’t hit her really hard.
“I’m sure she will come out fighting and want to run at Chepstow on December 27. If she says she wants to, and the checks are clear, we will let her take her chance – because she did improve with racing last season.
“Chepstow is the plan, and if we felt a couple more weeks we would go for the Classic Chase at Warwick.”