Thyme Hill could head straight to the Cheltenham Festival following his second battle of the season with Paisley Park.
Philip Hobbs’ star was reeled in by Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, with Emma Lavelle’s charge reversing his length-and-a-half defeat by Thyme Hill at Newbury the previous month.
While a crack at the Cleeve Hurdle on Trials Day has not been totally ruled out, Hobbs feels Thyme Hill may be better suited by arriving at the Festival fresh.
“We have to do the right thing by the horse,” Hobbs told Sky Sports Racing.
“Thyme Hill is not the most robust physically, although a lot better than last season, and I would think he’ll go straight to the Cheltenham Festival – although that is not written in stone.
“The Cleeve Hurdle is a possibility, but we’ll have to see.
“Winning the Stayers’ Hurdle is the objective and getting him there in the best condition will probably mean missing the Cleeve, but that is not written in stone yet.
“He’s very exciting, because up to now he’s been very sound and has a very good attitude. He’s a very good horse and we’re lucky to have him.”