Dual Cheltenham Festival runner-up Discorama could have his next outing in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Exeter on February 9.
Trainer Paul Nolan admits to being disappointed as to how the first half of his season has gone, but he is hoping to take advantage of a lower hurdles mark.
Discorama finished second in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle to Blow By Blow in 2018 and was narrowly denied by Le Breuil in the National Hunt Chase last March.
“We’re disappointed as we thought we’d be talking about different things at this stage of the season, but unfortunately we’re not,” said Nolan.
“I think he’s in better form now and we’ve mapped out a bit of a different plan for him.
“We’re thinking about going for a Pertemps qualifier and if that works out then great, but if it doesn’t we’ll enter in the handicap chases at Cheltenham.
“He’s been to the Festival twice and in my eyes he’s been an unlucky loser twice. In the Martin Pipe he got caught behind horses in the only slowly-run race of the week and then last year he met traffic problems with all that was going on in the four-miler.
“We were worried if that had left a mark, but then he finished second at Punchestown.
“I didn’t think he jumped well enough in the Troytown and when you’ve got a big weight, you’re not going to be involved in those big handicaps.
“There’s a possibility he could run in the qualifier at Exeter and if not there’s one at Punchestown 10 days after. He’s 11lb lower over hurdles.”