Chris Gordon believes On The Slopes could be the ideal type to aim at next season’s Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.
The Grade Two handicap in November has been earmarked as a potential early-season target for the six-year-old by the Winchester handler.
After tasting defeat on his first five starts over fences, On The Slopes ended the season in rich vein of form with back-to-back victories at Kempton.
Gordon said: “Although it took him a few times to get off the mark over fences, he is a rock-solid horse.
“A stiff two miles really suits him and the two-mile handicap Saint Calvados won at Cheltenham in October could be for him, but the Haldon Gold Cup might be a fun race to go for.
“He is an exciting horse to have around.”
While pleased with the progression On The Slopes has shown in his last two starts, Gordon is surprised at what trip they have come over.
He added: “As he is pretty slow at home, I thought we would be going towards three miles, not dropping back to two.
“At Kempton on Boxing Day he didn’t quite stay two and a half and he didn’t get it the time before at Cheltenham, he was the same as he got tired from the last.”
Gordon could have another Haldon Gold Cup contender in the shape of Baddesley Knight.
He said: “He bled when he was second up at Doncaster behind Maire Banrigh. We roughed him off after that as he was found not to be too well when he came back home.
“He could be a smart horse for next season too. He is very much a two-miler and he could be another Haldon Gold Cup horse, you never know.”
Although Commanche Red failed to deliver upped to Grade Two level in the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton, having impressed in handicap company at the track the time before, Gordon is happy to put a line through that effort.
He said: “Commanche Red was brilliant on Boxing Day and when he went back for the Pendil he put a toe clip into his foot. To be only beaten 10 lengths in a Grade Two was still a good effort.
“The handicapper didn’t mess around the time before putting us up to 150 for his Boxing Day win, which was a very strong race.
“I wouldn’t mind going two and a three-quarters to see where we are, though I’m sure he will stay three as the plan was to do that at Aintree in the Grade One novice. Hopefully there is a nice prize in him next season.”