Gary Moore has all but ruled out a tilt at the Sky Bet Ebor with ante-post favourite Goshen.
The exciting four-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since his heartbreaking final-flight exit when apparently set for a wide-margin victory in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Having won his six previous starts – three races on the Flat and three over hurdles – Goshen had options under both codes in the spring, before the coronavirus outbreak brought the sport to a halt until early June.
As a result, Moore gave his stable star a short break before returning to training three weeks ago – and while he could still have a couple of spins on the level before heading down the Champion Hurdle route, an appearance at York in late August appears highly unlikely.
Moore said: “I don’t know where we’re going to go with him, to be honest – it will be ground dependent, anyway. I would have loved to have got him ready for Royal Ascot last week if I’d known the ground would end up the way it did.”
After being told Goshen heads the Ebor market, the Sussex-based trainer added: “I’ve no idea why – he’s only rated 88, so he wouldn’t get in for a start.
“You wouldn’t want to go there without a run anyway, and I can’t see him being ready in time because he only came back to me on June 1 – I definitely wouldn’t want to rush him.
“I think we’d like to give him two or three runs on the Flat and then go back over hurdles. He won’t be having many runs over hurdles anyway, because there aren’t that many races for him, whereas at least he’s still well enough handicapped on the Flat.”