Phil Kirby believes the future is bright for Whoshotthesheriff, following his fine effort in defeat at Haydock.
Formerly trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, the Hambleton Racing-owned five-year-old joined North Yorkshire-based Kirby earlier this year and made a flying start for his new trainer, winning a couple of minor events at Sedgefield and Carlisle in the spring.
He fell two flights from home when still in contention at Cheltenham on his seasonal reappearance – and looked like gaining handsome compensation on Merseyside last week, only to be mowed down late by the heavily-supported favourite Bold Plan.
Kirby hopes his charge will enjoy his day in the sun in a similarly lucrative contest before the season is out, while he already has one eye on a future career over fences.
He said: “I thought he was going to win most of the way round, to be honest. He ran a very good race, and I think he probably just bumped into one on the day.
“He’s a very nice horse. I’m not sure where we’ll go with him next, but I think we’ll run him in those good prize-money races – because that’s where he deserves to be.
“I don’t want to give him too many hard races this season, because he’ll be a lovely chaser next year.
“He’s a grand horse.”