Anthony Honeyball is leaning towards making the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock the first port of call for Sam Brown on his return from injury.
The Dorset handler favours an outing in the Grade Two on January 23 for the talented but fragile nine-year-old over the Classic Chase at Warwick seven days earlier.
Sam Brown has not been sighted since finishing third in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle, after meeting with a setback during his build up for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.
Honeyball said: “Sam Brown had a setback just a few days before the Ladbrokes Trophy, but then the ground went against him in that anyway, so it wasn’t the end of the world missing it.
“We couldn’t quite get him right for the Welsh National (which was originally scheduled to be run on December 27), but we are happy with him now.
“The Classic Chase at Warwick is on my mind, but the plan at the moment is to go for the Peter Marsh at Haydock as he won the Grade Two novice chase on the card last year.”
Sam Brown has proved difficult to keep sound throughout his career, but Honeyball is confident he is on top of everything at the moment.
He added: “He had a ligament problem in a joint in his backend before Newbury.
“We worked away at it, but it took the best part of two weeks to notice much of a difference. He has reacted well to the treatment and appears to be fine.
“We know he has got loads of ability and we are just looking forwards to the 23rd at Haydock.”