Warren Greatrex is unconcerned by the prospect of Western Ryder having to shoulder a hefty burden in the County Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.
The seven-year-old has been placed in graded company three times already this term and currently sits on a rating of 150, despite proving slightly disappointing in defeat at Haydock last time out.
Greatrex felt there were excuses for that lacklustre third as a joint-favourite in the Champion Hurdle Trial, but expects his charge to thrive in the Cheltenham handicap contest.
He said: “All being well he will head to the County Hurdle. He was found to have very bad ulcers after Haydock, where I fancied him to go close, and I’m pretty adamant he didn’t run his race.
“He has been kept fresh for the County Hurdle. I think the fast-run two miles on the New Course will suit him and we know he has good form at Cheltenham and hopefully we can get him back on track.
“There will probably be something carrying more weight than him, but the weights are so compressed now he will not be giving lots of weight away.”