David Pipe believes Siruh Du Lac will have to take another step forward if he is to make a winning debut for the stable in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The seven-year-old gelding, who also holds an entry in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on November 28, was pulled up in the Grade Three prize last year when trained by Nick Williams.
Though failing to complete either of his two starts last term, Siruh Du Lac had previously looked a horse on an upward curve having completed a four-timer over fences culminating with victory in the 2019 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Plate at the Festival.
New handler Pipe said: “He does have a Ladbrokes Trophy entry, but I would probably say he will go for the Paddy Power as long as the ground is right.
“He looks a lovely horse to have at the yard and his form is in the book for all to see. We gave him a wind operation during the summer and he works like a nice horse.
“He would have to improve to win the Paddy Power off his mark of 150, but he is a decent horse and he is still only seven.”
Pipe reports the Anne Underhill and John White-owned gelding to have settled into his new surroundings well.
He added: “He came in during lockdown, so we had him during the summer and he has had a good summer.
“Last season he had a heavy fall at Cheltenham and he pulled up in this race, so it didn’t quite work out for him on track.
“He has been in with us for a while now and he is fairly straightforward. He is a good addition to the yard.”
Stablemate Panic Attack could also be Cheltenham bound, with Pipe earmarking the Valda Energy Handicap Hurdle on Friday as a possible target.
After finding only Vegas Blue too strong on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon, the Listed bumper winner went one better on her most recent start at Uttoxeter.
Pipe added: “It was a good performance at Uttoxeter and she showed a good attitude to win up there.
“She will have an entry in the two-mile novice handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday and we will take a look at that.”