Mick Appleby is set to take Big Country back to Lingfield for the Betway Winter Derby Trial on Saturday after going close in Listed races at the Surrey circuit on his last two starts.
Should the six-year-old gelding put up a bold showing, then the Group Three Winter Derby itself three weeks later could be on the cards.
After only being beaten a neck by Master The World at the Surrey track in November, Big Country went down by two lengths to current Winter Derby favourite Wissahickon last month.
“He’s in good order. He’ll go for the trial first a week on Saturday. That’s the plan,” said Appleby.
“He ran well last time and he’d have got a lot closer if he hadn’t run wide on the bend.”