Connections of Lalor retain full faith in the exciting novice chaser despite his defeat at Sandown on Saturday.
The Grade One-winning novice hurdler made an impressive start to life over fences at Cheltenham last month, and as a result was sent off at odds-on for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.
However, Kayley Woollacott’s Arkle Trophy contender never looked happy in the testing conditions and could only finish third to Dynamite Dollars, whom he had beaten convincingly at Cheltenham.
Woollacott said in her Betway blog: “I said last week that I was a bit worried if the ground got heavy at Sandown on Saturday for Lalor and unfortunately that was the case.
“We had the same issue at Newbury in February. He just doesn’t like it heavy, but he’s absolutely fine and is having a quiet week now.
“Dicky (Richard Johnson) was very positive that it was some more decent experience for him. On the whole he jumped well, apart from being slow at the third.”
Looking to future plans, Woollacott added: “In an ideal world we would have liked to have given him more than just under three weeks between runs, but we now have plenty of time until the Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster at the end of January.
“There’s also a nice gap between that race and Cheltenham, so we’ll be hoping the ground isn’t too bad and he can bounce back to last month’s form.
“We know he’s a very good horse and although Saturday was a mild setback, it’s all part of the learning curve and his main targets are in the spring.”