Olly Murphy believes Notre Pari needs find further improvement if he is to continue his upward curve in the Unibet Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.
Having appeared to appreciate the step up to two and a half miles when winning at Aintree last time out, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old will bid to follow up in this Listed prize.
Though Murphy is confident the extra furlong will favour Notre Pari, he feels he will have to take another step forward to defy an 8lb rise for his recent success.
Murphy said: “He looks like the kind of progressive novice that is still unexposed. He will have to improve again I would think, but he is on an upward curve.
“I don’t think stepping up in trip will be any hindrance to him, as he was doing his best work at the end at Aintree. He wasn’t doing a lot a lot in front, but the form looks good.
“After he won the last day, I had a chat with Frank (Berry, racing manager) and AP (McCoy) and the race just looked something fairly obvious to him.
“He looks a quick horse at home, but on the track he is shaping like he wants a trip.”
Dan Skelton expects Northofthewall to be well suited by a longer test having run out an easy winner over two miles at Hereford last time out.
He said: “Northofthewall has been a very consistent novice and he has got a nice mark for this. I think the trip will be ideal for him in what is a very competitive race.
“He is taking a massive step up in class, but he has a good chance of placing. The ground will be fine for him, as will the trip, as he is bred for it.”
The Alcester handler will also be represented by recent course-and-distance fourth Gortroe Joe, who will be partnered by Harry Cobden for the first time.
He added: “Gortroe Joe travelled very well into his race around there the other day. The faster they go, the better it suits him.
“I thought the Lanzarote would be a good race to have a go at, as he has good form around there and it is worth a bit as well.”
Burrows Edge, one of two runners in the race for Nicky Henderson, will try to make a winning return to hurdles having had his chasing career put on hold following a fall on his debut at Ludlow.
Henderson said: “Burrows Edge had a fall over fences the other day, but he is in very good form.
“It struck me that he wasn’t badly handicapped and I thought a race like this over two-miles-five around Kempton is perfect for him.
“That fall didn’t seem to effect him, I schooled him over hurdles on Thursday and he was great.”
The Seven Barrows handler will also be represented by Theinval, who will be making his first hurdles start in over three years.
He added: “We’ve decided to go back over hurdles with Theinval, just to try to get his confidence back as he has lost it a little bit.
“Two-miles-five around there will be perfect for him and he wants a bit of decent ground. He will come back in the spring as he always does. ”
Tim Vaughan is keeping his fingers crossed a wind operation can help revive the fortunes of Tight Call.
Vaughan said: “He is a lovely, consistent horse. He just stopped very quickly the last day and we discovered he had two stomach ulcers and a breathing problem.
“All that has been treated now and we are happy with him. I didn’t want to put him in a small race for him to bolt up and be put up by the handicapper.
“Going through his previous form, on paper it would suggest he is reasonably well treated. “