Stuart Edmunds is relishing the prospect of taking on the boys with his stable star Maria’s Benefit in the 32Red.com Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton on December 27.
The smart mare is on target for a clash with Arkle favourite Kalashnikov and several others of note in the Grade Two.
Edmunds said: “The ground at the moment is good to soft and if it stays like that it would be lovely.
“We’ve got to take them all on at some point and I think on a flat track it is probably the best place to take him (Kalashnikov) on.”
Maria’s Benefit has won her first two over fences, including a Listed event at Market Rasen, although that form took a knock when runner-up Jester Jet was well beaten next time Warwick.
“She was very good at Bangor, but she was probably coming to the end of her tether and dossing in front,” said Edmunds.
“I spoke to Robbie Dunne (Jester Jet’s jockey) and he said she wasn’t at the races that day and just ran a bit flat.
“She had an easy week after Bangor and is now back in maximum work, I couldn’t be happier with her.
“She’s had two or three schools and I’ve not felt the need to go for an away day, she’s in great form and I’m very happy with her heading to Kempton.”