Grade Two winner Global Citizen is “70 per cent likely” to take his chance in The New One Unibet Hurdle at Haydock.
Trainer Ben Pauling sees Saturday’s two-mile Grade Two contest, better known as the Champion Hurdle trial, as the ideal test for his seven-year-old – last sighted finishing fourth to Verdana Blue in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
Pauling said: “He hung very badly at Kempton for the last mile. He has never really had that problem before in his life – and he also didn’t jump with his usual fluency.
“Given that, he ran an absolutely massive race to be only beaten 13 lengths – and I was chuffed to pieces.
“We found a little reason why he hung that day, and I hope we have now righted that wrong.”
Global Citizen remains at the top of his form.
“He did a very smart piece of work this morning, and there is a good possibility we will see him this weekend,” added Pauling.
“I’m leaning towards it, and I would say there is a 70 per cent chance of him running.
“Brain Power is in there, but he will have a penalty for his Grade Two win. I think this is a very decent option for him. I still believe there is improvement to come, and I hope it will be on Saturday.”
Global Citizen may be joined at Haydock by either Kildisart or Le Breuil, with Pauling likely to run one of the pair in the Grade Two Patrick Coyne Memorial Altcar Novices’ Chase.
“I couldn’t call it at the moment, which one goes there,” he said.
“I don’t think I will run two of them, but I see myself running one.
“Kildisart seems very well, and I would like to think it is a possibility. I need to speak to Anthony Bromley (racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Soude).
“The Scilly Isles (at Sandown) is another option for him. You are going to meet Vinndication and the likes there – but it is back in the equation, with Master Dino now injured.”
Kildisart was last seen winning narrowly at Ascot just before Christmas.
Pauling added: “It was a good performance at Ascot in the graduation chase, and I was delighted to see him run so well.
“He likes it at Ascot, and Haydock is a slightly different track – but I don’t believe that is anything to worry about.
“Le Breuil is in very good form. But like Kildisart, he has other options as well. Both would be more than capable of running well in this race.”