Ruth Jefferson reports Waiting Patiently to be “absolutely bouncing” ahead of his intended return in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
The seven-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since seeing off the popular Cue Card and claiming Grade One glory in February’s Ascot Chase, but he is closing in on a comeback.
After bypassing the Cheltenham Festival, a setback prevented him from running at Aintree in April.
The same injury delayed his return to training, meaning he is in line to make his belated seasonal reappearance in the Boxing Day highlight.
Jefferson said: “Everything is going according to plan – I couldn’t be happier with him, to be honest.
“He’s absolutely bouncing at the moment, so fingers crossed they get some rain at Kempton and we’ll be there.
“There are still one or two things to do – we haven’t schooled him yet for instance, but hopefully we’ll do that next week or the week after.”
Earlier this week Waiting Patiently received entries over two miles and three miles at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.
However, Jefferson insists Kempton is very much his preferred destination.
She added: “Kempton is plan A and Ireland is plan B.
“I thought it prudent to give him to entries at Leopardstown just in case. There is no two-and-a-half-mile race, so we entered him over two miles (Paddy’s Rewards Club ‘Sugar Paddy’ Chase, December 27) and three miles (Savills Chase, December 28).”
Brian Hughes has ridden Jefferson’s stable star to each of his six victories over fences to date.
The leading northern-based rider became Donald McCain’s first-choice jockey in May, but Jefferson hopes he will be available to partner Waiting Patiently wherever he turns up.
“As far as I know Brian wants to ride him and that would be the plan,” said the Norton-based trainer.
“I hope Brian rides him as obviously he knows the horse well and gets on well with him.”