Gary Moore is anxious to find a Cheltenham Festival prep run for his unexposed handicap chaser Not Another Muddle.
The lightly-raced nine-year-old is on course to join Moore’s team in the Cotswolds next month – but unlike the yard’s unbeaten Triumph Hurdle favourite Goshen, Not Another Muddle ideally needs to find a race somewhere else first.
A first outing of the season was scuppered by Storm Dennis last weekend, when windy and waterlogged Wincanton was abandoned.
Moore is therefore hoping Warwick’s card on Friday survives – despite ground currently described as heavy, waterlogged in places.
“I hope to get a run into him before Cheltenham – he needs to have one,” said the Sussex trainer. “He’s in this week.
“It proved on Saturday (when Traffic Fluide ran so well at Ascot) we can get them fit enough at home if we need to – but there’s nothing like a run, is there?”
Not Another Muddle was fifth in last year’s Grand Annual at the Festival – and that race, or a slight move up in trip, will be among his options this time.
“He runs well fresh – but he’s just not the best handicapped horse in the world,” added Moore.
“He did run well (at Cheltenham) last year, but his jumping kind of let him down there – so we’ll try again over two, two and a half.”
Last spring’s exertions have delayed Not Another Muddle’s return this season.
“We had to go carefully with him, because he got a bit jarred up at Cheltenham last year,” said Moore, who confirmed both Goshen and fellow outstanding juvenile hurdler Botox Has will head for their big spring targets without another outing first.
Goshen was initially an intended runner in Haydock’s Victor Ludorum last weekend.
But Moore was dissuaded by a combination of the heavy ground and long trip north, and he said: “He goes straight to the Triumph.”
Botox Has will also sidestep Kempton’s 888Sport Take ‘Em On Adonis Hurdle, and instead arrive fresh for the Anniversary at Aintree in April
“He doesn’t run (this week),” said Moore.
“He’s going to go straight to Liverpool.”