Jedd O’Keeffe has two factors concerning him as he prepares Sam Spinner for the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle at Aintree.
The Middleham handler would love to see some rain before race time on Saturday, while regular rider Joe Colliver is facing a race against time to be fit after aggravating an old injury.
Sam Spinner beat all bar Paisley Park in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – and with that winner roughed off for the summer, O’Keeffe is keen to take advantage.
“The latest is we are still planning to go (to Aintree),” he said.
“We will keep a close eye on the weather. I can see a bit of rain there, either Monday night or Tuesday – and they are bound to have done a good job watering – so I am hoping it will be okay.
“But I would have preferred to have seen more rain in the forecast.”
Colliver’s injury is a second potential complication.
“Sadly Joe couldn’t ride today (Sunday), because he has hurt his back,” added O’Keeffe.
“We are very much hoping he is okay for next weekend, but are waiting to hear what his tests show.
“He had a fall at Wetherby on Friday and aggravated an old back injury, and I think he was going for an X-ray. Hopefully he will be all right, and maybe some physio will sort him out. It would be such a shame if he missed that ride.
“What appeals about the race is that there is no Paisley Park – but the horse seems in great shape, and he hasn’t had to train hard since Cheltenham.
“He has just ticked over, and we are happy. It is just a case of keeping an eye on the weather forecast.”