Navajo Pass is likely to wait for the JCB Triumph Trial at Cheltenham next week rather than take on his elders at Haydock.
Donald McCain’s four-year-old was a gutsy winner of the Grade Two Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster before Christmas.
He holds an entry in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday – and while testing ground is no issue to him normally, McCain is not keen on entering all-age novice company in such conditions.
“There aren’t too many options for the good juveniles, and we either run here or wait for Cheltenham next week,” said McCain.
“At the moment we’re probably thinking Cheltenham, but this week is still a possible.
“We go through heavy ground fine – but so far we’ve gone through it against juveniles, (and) it’s a bit different taking on older horses.”
Haydock provides another opportunity for the best four-year-olds next month, but McCain is concerned that will be too near to the Cheltenham Festival for Navajo Pass.
The Cheshire trainer added: “He’s very well – we’ve had a clean run at it, but I did back off him after Doncaster, so it’s whether we go this week or next.
“If I was to say where now, as much as I love Haydock, it’s probably looking more likely that we’ll go to Cheltenham (on Festival Trials Day).
“There is the Victor Ludorum at Haydock (February 15) – but that just comes close enough to March, and I’d rather run him sooner than later.”