Neil Mulholland is leaning towards making the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday week the next port of call for The Young Master, provided conditions are suitable.
Since returning to action the nine-year-old has looked a rejuvenated character, backing up a win on his seasonal debut at Chepstow with victory at Cheltenham on Friday.
The hat-trick-seeking gelding holds an entry in the Becher Chase at Aintree on December 8, but the Limpley Stoke handler is favouring a trip to the Berkshire track for a tilt at the historic handicap, for which he is short as 10-1.
Mulholland said: “We are still looking at the Ladbrokes Trophy for The Young Master. He has come out of the race at Cheltenham well. Hopefully the weather will stay dry enough so he can go there and take his chance.
“He is entered in the Becher Chase, but it is all about the ground for him these days, that is key to him.
“Just being ridden positively on better ground has helped him and he seems to be really trying hard. The Grand National is the long-term plan and he should get in that now.”
Stablemate Kalondra could be in line for a quick return after coming to grief when well-fancied in last weekend’s BetVictor Gold Cup.
Mulholland added: “He appears in good form after Cheltenham. He is entered at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday.
“We will have a look at the graduation chase at Haydock and if he doesn’t go there he will go to Newbury the following week.
“The Grade Two at Ascot is off the agenda as we want to be meeting those sort of horses on his terms.”