Nicky Richards has Haydock in his sights next for promising novice hurdler Ribble Valley.
The newly-turned seven-year-old lost his unbeaten record over hurdles when second to the impressive Master Debonair in Grade Two company at Ascot, but Richards has not lost any faith in his ability.
“He seems to have come out of his race pretty well,” he said.
“He ran with the choke out too much – he was just free all the way and never got settled.
“It was only four horses, and they were all nice horses, but he could have done with a few more runners in it so he could have been dropped in a bit.”
The Cumbria trainer remains convinced there is much more to come from Ribble Valley.
“I’m quite sure you haven’t seen the best of this horse,” he added.
“Just because you get beat once is not the end of the world – you come back from defeat.
“He may go for the Rossington Main (Novices’ Hurdle) at Haydock (on January 18).
“We’ll see how he is. That could be his next port of call.”