David Pipe plans to tread a familiar path with impressive Cheltenham bumper winner Israel Champ, after putting the four-year-old’s hurdling career on hold.
The Pond House trainer has earmarked the Listed Championship Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race at Ascot, which he claimed 12 months ago with Eden Du Houx, as the next target for his former Irish point-to-point winner.
Pipe said: “Israel Champ will probably now head to Ascot for the Listed bumper that we won last year with Eden Du Houx.
“It was good to see him get his head in front at Cheltenham last time out.
“I think the plan is to stay in bumpers this season, but it depends what he does on his next start.
“He has already won a point-to-point, and his jumping has been fine at home.”
Plans remain fluid for Welsh Grand National runner-up Ramses De Teillee, who has recently undergone a wind operation following a below-par effort on his return to fences in a Grade Three at Cheltenham.
Pipe said: “He has had a wind operation, and I’m not sure when he will be out next, but he will be back out this season.
“We could look at those staying chases at Haydock, like the Grand National Trial, because he finished second in that last season. When he is back cantering we will make more plans.”