Lake View Lad may begin his season with a bid to record back-to back victories in this month’s Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle.
The nine-year-old, trained by Nick Alexander, took the three-mile handicap on his reappearance in 2018 before going on to lift the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day and then finishing third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The last of his four starts came in the Grand National – for which he was sent off a 14-1 chance -but he was pulled up four fences from home after being hampered when towards the rear of the field.
Another crack at the Aintree spectacular is the long-term objective for the grey, who carries the colours of three-time Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings.
Alexander said: “He’s taking his time to get fit.
“I hope he’ll be ready soon. He’s coming along nicely and I hope he’ll run at the end of the month.”
Newbury’s Ladbrokes Trophy is another high-profile option, like the Rehearsal on November 30, but Alexander is favouring Newcastle.
The trainer added: “He’s got an entry in the Ladbrokes Trophy, but I’d say he might go back for the Rehearsal Chase which he won last year.
“That is where he’ll probably end up.
“I’m sure we’d love to end up in the National again. We’ll hope to have a few runs before then, though.
“He’s been first out at that meeting at Newcastle at the end of November a couple of times before, so we just let him come to himself.
“Obviously, with the rating he is (156), he has to be 100 per cent first time out now. There are no easy races for him.”