Paul Nicholls plans to make a late call on whether to let Black Corton return to action at Ascot or Wetherby this weekend.
Last seen filling the runner-up spot under a big weight in the Galway Plate in late July, the admirable eight-year-old is entered for both the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot and the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.
Black Corton finished second to Definitly Red in last season’s Charlie Hall and could return to West Yorkshire in a bid to go one better, but Nicholls admits he is tempted by the handicap option in Berkshire.
“He’s a little bit ground dependent – he doesn’t want the ground too soft,” the champion trainer told Sky Sports Racing.
“I’d like to go to Wetherby because the weights and the conditions suit him better and there’ll be a smaller field, but he does like Ascot, and if Venetia Williams’ horse (Aso) at the top of the weights did run, it would be worth looking at.
“We’re going to make a decision on Thursday evening or Friday, depending on the weather forecast and what else runs.”
The Ditcheat handler also provided an update on the popular Frodon, who could only finish third when defending his crown in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last Sunday.
Nicholls believe the decision to omit the three fences in the home straight on each of the two circuits inconvenienced his charge, but feels the race served a purpose as he gears up for a tilt at the Betfair Chase at Haydock in late November.
Nicholls said: “Jumping is his forte, so once that happened (fences dolled off) he was going to struggle a bit.
“He had to have a run somewhere before he goes for the Betfair Chase. It didn’t work out on Sunday, but hopefully it will be onwards and upwards and he’ll be ready for the Betfair Chase.
“He cantered today. He’s had a good blow and a good day out. He’ll tighten up and it should put him right for Haydock.”