Cornerstone Lad will embark on a novice-chasing campaign after missing the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle on account of the ground.
Trainer Micky Hammond felt Saturday’s conditions at Newcastle were too quick for last year’s winner of the Grade One – and now a new experience awaits.
Cornerstone Lad is also a winner on the Flat, but Hammond feels now is the right time to send him over the bigger obstacles.
“We’re almost certainly going to go chasing now, but I haven’t identified just where as yet,” he said.
“It was always the plan to take in the Fighting Fifth and then have a go chasing. Now that we’ve missed the Fighting Fifth, I would think we’ll just go straight chasing.
“By doing that, we’ve got a fair few more options now – because over hurdles there are not many places he could have run. So that’s the plan, we’ll see how he gets on jumping a fence.
“He likes winter ground best. He’s got an action that suits winter ground – he goes through Haydock soft very well, (so) that’s ideal.
“It was shame to miss it on Saturday, but I think his owner Mrs Lofthouse made the right decision.”