Alan King will seek out the best possible ground for Talkischeap in his future engagements, after he struggled to handle testing conditions at Sandown.
The seven-year-old was having his first start since winning the bet365 Gold Cup at the Esher track in April when lining up in Sunday’s Future Stars Intermediate Chase, but was beaten 30 lengths by Santini.
King had hoped he would cope a little better with the soft ground – and while he has not ruled out a run in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on November 30, conditions could prove crucial.
The Barbury Castle trainer said: “The ground was too soft for Talkischeap at Sandown. I needed to get a run into him, but he was never going to be at his best on that sort of ground.
“We will see about the Ladbrokes Trophy and we will see what the weather does. He has had a run, and we will see how he is.
“I’d hoped he would have run better than he did on Sunday, but to me he was never travelling on that ground or jumping out of it.
“We will leave him in the Ladbrokes Trophy, but he wouldn’t be certain to go. We could end up just going to places where the ground is better, because he has never been a soft-ground horse.”
While Talkischeap is far from sure to run at Newbury, King could still be represented by Dingo Dollar.
He finished third in a Pertemps qualifier at the Berkshire track last week, and has the option of returning to that track or heading to Aintree to tackle the Grand National fences in the Becher Chase.
King said: “I think the main option is the Ladbrokes Trophy for Dingo Dollar.
“I would have thought that would have been more likely, but we will give ourselves the option of going for the Becher if we wanted to.
“It was a great run at Newbury, and I’m very happy with him. He has taken a hell of a lot to get fit this year.
“He finished fourth in that same hurdle race last season and he has run better in it this time. I was really pleased how he stayed on.”