Trainer Tony Martin had hoped the eight-year-old would start his season in the best possible fashion in the Ladbrokes Chase at the weekend, but he had been put in his place by Cristal Bonus before taking a tired fall at the last.
“He’s fine now,” said Martin.
“We’ll just look for a race for him in three to four weeks to see if we can kick on with him.”
Martin enjoyed better luck with Benefficient, who won on his second start over fences a day earlier.
A shock 50-1 winner of the Deloitte Novice Hurdle last season, the County Meath handler is in no rush to up him in class just yet.
He said: “We’ll take it steady with him and he’ll be out again in three or four weeks, too, I’d have thought.”
Cheltenham Festival winner Teaforthree is among 17 entries for the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton on Saturday.
The eight-year-old ended the last campaign with victory in the four-mile National Hunt Chase, and the Somerset showpiece is just one of the possible starting points for him this season.
The Badger Ales is also an option for Old Wigmore, although he has an alternative in the Blue Square Bet Handicap Chase at Sandown the same day.
“He’s very well at home. I’ll have a look at the entries for both races and see,” she said.
Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals with Meanus Dandy (2010) and The Minack (2011).
This year the champion trainer can call on Michel Le Bon and No Loose Change.
The 17 entries for the Badger Ales also include the Nick Williams-trained Diamond Harry and Alan King’s West End Rocker.
lEmma Lavelle is eyeing a crack at the valuable Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock on November 28 for Fox Appeal after his striking win in the Pertemps Group Handicap Hurdle at Kempton yesterday.
Ridden with restraint by Dougie Costello, the 15-2 chance burst through between the third- and second-last flights to beat Medinas with Black Thunder third.
“He jumps a lot better this year, last year he used to take the hurdles with him yet still find a leg,” said Lavelle. “Now the freshness is out of him we can go back to three miles and you’d have to think at the end of the season the Pertemps Final might be his race.”
Ghizao enjoyed a confidence-booster in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Graduation Chase.
Sent off the 4-7 favourite, his task was made even easier when main market rival Kumbeshwar took a crashing fall at just the fourth fence.
The last two runners of the race have been Riverside Theatre and Somersby, both of whom went on to win at Grade One level.
Paul Nicholls’ assistant Dan Skelton said: “He’s in the Paddy Power but we’ll see.”
Golfer Lee Westwood and his manager Chubby Chandler are known in racing circles for the ownership of the smart sprinter Hoof It but could have a decent jumper on their hands in the shape of Golden Hoof (7-2) who won the Weatherbys NH Season Betting Guide Novices´ Hurdle.
Pre-race talk concerned Ransom Note, classy on the Flat, but he jumped poorly and came in seventh.
Nicky Henderson’s Golden Hoof was having just his second run under Rules and beat Rysbrack by four and a half lengths under Andrew Tinkler.
“Lee’s out in Shanghai and was watching on his phone,” said Chandler.