Neil Mulholland believes The Young Master has plenty in his favour as he bids for a second win in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
The 10-year-old beat Just A Par by a short-head in 2016, but then went winless until his first run of this season at Chepstow.
A fine third in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, he currently heads the market for Saturday’s final feature handicap of the jumps season.
“He’s been very solid all year – he won a very nice handicap at Chepstow first time out and followed up in a nice handicap at Cheltenham,” Mulholland told Sky Sports Racing.
“The only time he disappointed was on the softer surface at Newbury (Ladbrokes Trophy) – and we were well aware that was likely to happen – but he was always going to have a break after it.
“He came back and finished third at the Festival, which was a good, solid effort – and it leads in nicely to Saturday.”
Mulholland expects conditions to suit The Young Master.
“It’s testing times with how the weather is for everyone, but hopefully the ground will be how he likes it,” he added.
“He’s got 10st 8lb, so (jockey) Sam (Waley-Cohen) will be happy! It will be a bit easier than the last couple he’s had.”