Daryl Jacob is excited about the prospect of Fusil Raffles getting his new career under way at Uttoxeter on Friday.
A Grade One-winning juvenile hurdler, he failed to hit the same heights last term.
While he reappeared with a gutsy win in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, he was pulled up behind his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Epatante in the Christmas Hurdle and cut no ice behind the mare in the Champion at Cheltenham.
He faces far from a penalty kick in the SSR Congratulates Phil Bell 55 Today Novices’ Chase against the likes of Gumball, Quick Grabim and Dorking Boy, but Jacob can not wait.
“I’m very much looking forward to it. Touch wood, his schooling has been good so it will be good to get him out,” said Jacob.
“Obviously it’s very early in the season so he’s not going to be gun barrel straight, but we want to get him out.
“Uttoxeter is a nice track, hopefully they get a bit of rain as obviously we don’t want fast ground. They might put a bit of water on as we just want nice, consistent ground.
“We’ve viewed him as a chaser all along, but given he won the Grade One at Punchestown, we had to try him over hurdles again last season as he’ll have a long career chasing.
“He won the Wincanton race first time out, but that maybe took its toll as he had a hard race and he was never quite the same horse after it.
“We’re very excited to see how he’ll get on over fences – as I said, the schooling has gone well and he’s working well, so we’re looking forward to it.”