A trip to Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase is the likely next port of call for Ladbrokes Trophy hero De Rasher Counter.
Emma Lavelle’s seven-year-old was raised 11lb by the handicapper for his lucrative success at Newbury last month.
That gives him a revised rating of 160 – and Lavelle is keen to discover whether her charge is a legitimate contender for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup by running him on Festival Trials Day at Prestbury Park on January 25.
“I’ve been really happy with him since Newbury. I haven’t worked him yet, but he’s cantered every day and seems in really good form,” said the Marlborough-based trainer.
“The plan is the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham, so we’ll get Christmas out of the way and then step up his work early in the new year.
“He’s rated 160 now and the Cotswold Chase is the obvious target, as it will tell us whether he is just a very good handicapper or whether he could potentially be up to running in a Gold Cup.”
De Rasher Counter is a best-priced 66-1 for the blue riband in March.