Paul Nolan has identified the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury as a potential comeback target for his stable star Discorama.
The six-year-old has finished second at the Cheltenham Festival in each of the past two seasons – going down by just half a length to Le Breuil on his latest visit to Prestbury Park for the National Hunt Chase in March.
He rounded off his campaign with a runner-up finish behind the multiple Grade One winner Delta Work at the Punchestown Festival, and Nolan is looking forward to seeing his charge return to action, with a trip across the Irish Sea under consideration.
“We’re very happy with him and he’ll probably get an entry in the Ladbrokes Trophy in Newbury. He’ll also be entered for the Troytown in Navan and I’d say he’ll go for one or the other on his first run back,” said the Enniscorthy-based trainer.
“We’ll see how he gets on during the first half of the season. Andrew (Gemmell, part-owner) has mentioned it might be a year too soon for him to be going for the Grand National, but we’ll see where we’re at nearer the time.
“He has a high enough rating for a horse who has only won a maiden hurdle and a beginners’ chase. Hopefully he can run respectably in handicap company and we’ll see how far he can progress.”
Another horse for whom Nolan holds high hopes this winter is Latest Exhibition.
The six-year-old was pencilled in for last season’s Champion Bumper following an impressive display at Naas in late January, but was forced to miss Cheltenham due to a foot infection and was subsequently roughed off for the season.
Nolan said: “He’s in good shape and is pretty much ready to go. Hopefully we’re going to get a bit of yielding or soft ground soon as he’s ready to be entered up for maiden hurdle somewhere.
“I’d say we’ll probably start him over the minimum trip, but I’d imagine he’ll step up in time.
“He’s a nice horse who is stronger and more mature this season, so hopefully there’s plenty to look forward to.”
It has been a relatively quiet few years for Nolan since claiming big-race victories with the likes of Shinrock Paddy, Joncol, Noble Prince and Defy Logic, but he is excited about his current squad.
He added: “We have more horses than we’ve had for the last couple of winters and we’re hoping to get some of them out over the next couple of months.
“Hopefully we have some nice novice hurdlers and bumper horses to look forward to.”