Chris Gordon may step Highway One O Two up to Grade Two company next month after the five-year-old took his unbeaten record over hurdles to two at Plumpton.
The Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton on February 22 or the Premier Kelso Novices’ Hurdle at the Borders track a week later are two possible targets – but the Cheltenham Festival is not on Highway One O Two’s radar.
Gordon reported his improving youngster in fine shape after Sunday’s exertions.
“He’s as good as gold – he’s taken it really well,” said the Hampshire trainer.
“If he was a straightforward horse I’d probably put a 7lb claimer on and try to win another little novice – but as you can see, he’s not very straightforward.
“He’s pretty keen, and we had a few problems with him in his bumpers. I ran him in four bumpers to try to settle him down.”
Highway One O Two had little trouble justifying his odds-on starting price at Plumpton, though.
Gordon added: “If we didn’t have that loose horse that set him off a little bit he would have won it very nicely – because he got very keen on that first circuit.
“It was a very pleasing performance.
“What we’re looking at is the Sky Bet Dovecote at Kempton. I’ve got an eye on that, and a two mile two 50-grand race at Kelso.
“We won’t be going to Cheltenham with him. We’ll be avoiding that, and quite often those two are quite nice races for horses not going to Cheltenham.
“I think we might just have a good chance in one of those.”