Neil King has ruled Brandon Castle out of a potential tilt at Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle.
The former classy Flat performer took his record over timber to two from two at Plumpton on Sunday, looking a natural in the process.
However, he needs to have run three times before January 19, and King has accepted he will run out of time.
“He can’t run in the Betfair, because he needs a third run – which won’t happen. It was a bit of a long shot,” he said.
“I’m not really sure where he goes next, but he will step up a notch. It won’t be anywhere before the end of January or early February anyway, because we’ll give him three weeks to get over Sunday.
“He may have only won two modest races at Plumpton – but if you take into account what he did on the Flat then you’d like to think there’s plenty more to come.”
Brandon Castle’s jumping technique has been polished in both wins.
“He’s lovely and slick over a hurdle,” added King.
“The owner is actually away for three weeks, which helps give us a breather before we go again.
“You’d think, given just winning twice at Plumpton, he might get quite an agreeable mark.
“So handicapping may be the way we’ll go – but we’ll find out on Tuesday.”