Chris Gordon expects Highway One O Two to build on his impressive form over hurdles and continue his ascent through the ranks over fences.
Gordon had been looking towards the Grade One Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree with Highway One O Two, but with the meeting cancelled, the Winchester handler is now considering sending his stable star novice chasing on his return next season.
The Anthony Ward-Thomas-owned six-year-old provided Gordon with the first Grade Two success of his career when maintaining his unbeaten record over obstacles in the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.
Gordon said: “His victory in the Dovecote has to be the highlight as it was our first Grade Two winner, but it was frustrating that Aintree was off as we were looking forward to going there for the two-mile novices’ hurdle.
“He is a very smart horse and he will be a cracking jumper of a fence as well. He has only had the three runs over hurdles and it is a shame with the way this season has gone he couldn’t have had another for the experience.
“We might just crack on with novice chasing next season as we are trying to get in horses that will be better for a fence.”
Gordon believes he has a future Welsh Grand National contender on his hands in dual hurdle winner Go Whatever, who is also owned by Ward-Thomas.
He said: “He was going for the EBF Final and I was hoping Sandown was going to be on as he wants that extreme ground, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
“He finished third in a Grade Three hurdle at the track the time before, but he just got tired from the back of the last as he had missed a week of work.
“He is a horse that will jump fences really well and I have it in the back of my mind he could be a Welsh Grand National horse further down the line and he could be one for things like the Sussex National next season.”
Stable stalwart Remiluc could be another set for a switch to fences next season having proved he still retains plenty of ability at the age of 11 after finishing third in the Betfair Hurdle.
Gordon added: “I feel like Remiluc in the Betfair Hurdle was the one that got away, but it was a great run on his second start back from a leg injury.
“He was going to go for the Sussex Champion Hurdle, but that is another race that is off now, so we might have a go at novice chasing next season.
“He is 11 but he still has that engine, as we saw in the Betfair Hurdle.”
While Remulic is now entering the twilight of his career, Gordon has selected three bumper horses he hopes will make into useful novice hurdlers next season.
He added: “Smurphy Enki was very impressive in how he won at Wincanton. He has plenty of knee action, but he should be a smart novice hurdler on soft or heavy ground.
“Baddesley looked pretty smart first time out, then he came back with a fractured pelvis on his second start. He came out well on ratings that day and is another to look forward to over hurdles.
“Out of those that haven’t yet won, Lord Baddesley would be the pick. We took him to Kempton last time out in what was a slow-run race, but he will be a really nice hurdler.”