Phil Kirby wants to see Top Ville Ben prove his Grand National credentials in the 888Sport Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
Agonisingly reeled in when looking certain to win the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle last time out, he is returning to the scene of two wide-margin wins as a novice last season.
“Top Ville Ben is in good form and the plan is to run in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby,” said Kirby.
“He ran a brilliant race at Newcastle. He jumped really well and was only caught late on.
“Wetherby has been the target since and depending on how things go the Grand National could be a target.
“He is still progressing and we are looking forward to running.”
Top Ville Ben is one of 24 entries, along with Nicky Richards’ Guitar Pete, another who likes it at the A1 track.
Richards said: “Guitar Pete is in great form and the plan is for him to run at Wetherby in the Rowland Meyrick.
“He is bouncing and was entered in the Caspian Caviar at Cheltenham, but the idea is to step up to three miles as he finishes his races well.
“We have been tempted to put him up to three miles for a while and we think Wetherby is a good track to test out the idea.
“When he won at Wetherby, it was his first run for around a year He may have just bounced in November at Cheltenham as that was not his true running.”
Kalashnikov, Lake View Lad and BEnnys King are just some of the other possibles.