Chris Gordon is praying for rain as he plans a chasing campaign for his unbeaten hurdler Highway One O Two.
The five-year-old has won each of his three hurdle starts to date, culminating in the Grade Two Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton in February.
Gordon is now trying to schedule a chasing debut for the bay, but is holding out for his preferred soft going conditions.
Though an entry has been made at Market Rasen on Saturday, Gordon is unlikely to run unless the current good ground eases.
“I’ve put him in at Market Rasen on Saturday, but I don’t think there’s going to be any rain there,” he said.
“He’s a soft ground horse, at Chepstow the other day all the boys were saying it was like a road, but they still call it good. Parts of the chase course they were calling good to firm, but they’re like roads, a lot of these tracks are. We just haven’t had the rain.”
All of Highway One O Two’s winning performances have been produced on ground with either heavy or soft included in the going description, something Gordon is willing to wait for before his seasonal reappearance.
“He’s very good on heavy ground, but he would just want winter ground really,” he said.
“We’re just waiting for the rain, I’ll put him in every two-mile chase or two-mile novice I can and just wait until the ground is just on the easy side.”
Gordon believes Highway One O Two’s fencing bow will be worth the wait, however – and is hopeful he will prove to be even more impressive over the bigger obstacles than he was over hurdles.
“For me and my little yard, he’s the real deal for us,” he said.
“We’re not used to dealing with slightly higher-calibre horses I suppose, but to me he’s very sharp over a fence. He’s got the form and I’d like to think we’ve got a very, very decent horse here.
“I’d like to think he might have the ability to go and run in the Henry VIII at Sandown in the mud, in the Kingmaker in the mud at Warwick. I’d also like to think he’s going to be a better chaser than he is a hurdler, because he’s very fast over a fence.
“He’s a 146 (rated) horse and if he suddenly improves a bit for a fence, then we can go to those nice novices. He’s schooled absolutely fantastically at home and he’s very, very sharp, a real two-miler with the speed he goes over fences.”