Gordon Elliott will consider all Cheltenham Festival options for Shattered Love before deciding her target next month.
The nine-year-old won the JLT Novices’ Chase – now known as the Marsh – in 2018, but has managed just one subsequent success, in a Listed heat last November.
She ran a creditable race in defeat behind Chris’s Dream in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran on Saturday, and Elliott believes a wind operation brought about that improvement.
Shattered Love is entered in both the Ryanair Chase and the Magners Gold Cup, but Elliott has not ruled out a handicap date either.
He said: “She might go for the Ryanair. She had a wind operation after her previous run, before running very well in Gowran over the weekend.
“She seems to be better over two and a half or two-five rather than extreme distances. She’s a very good mare on her day, but she has had four wind operations.
“We’ll also put in her in some handicaps, and see what the handicapper does.
“She’s a massive mare, and she does seem to be better on soft ground.”
Elliott confirmed the National Hunt Chase as his preferred race for Champagne Classic, but has not ruled out switching to the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase – with stable companion Battleoverdoyen far from certain to travel following his heavy fall at Leopardstown this month.
The trainer said of the latter: “He was very sore after Leopardstown, but he’s fine now.
“He’s the one horse I’d be nervous about going to Cheltenham with, because he went last year and never ate or drank – and ran deplorably.
“I wouldn’t be shocked if I kept him at home. Cheltenham might just come a bit quick – and after last year, it wouldn’t be ideal.”