Oscar Rock could be stepped up to three miles at Haydock next month after finishing only third as a beaten favourite in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury...
"He might go to Haydock and we might step him up to three miles in February, there's a nice race there..."
Transferred from Harry Fry to Malton-based Malcolm Jefferson by his northern owners, he was one of the favourites for the Cheltenham novice events earlier in the season but has met with defeat on his last two outings.
Having looked like being beaten a long way at Newbury, he actually stayed on again in the closing stages to go down by nine lengths.
Jefferson has now earmarked Oscar Rock for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, a Haydock Grade Two won by the likes of Back In Focus and Brindisi Breeze in recent years, on February 15.
"He ran well enough, but I blame myself," Jefferson told At The Races.
"I think I'm over-training him a little bit. I think he wants to be fresher. He's a light-framed horse so he probably needs less work, so that's what he'll get and we'll see where we go from there.
"We're not disappointed. He's run well and it was a good race in a good time.
"He might go to Haydock and we might step him up to three miles in February, there's a nice race there.
"He's not a fast horse, he's a real galloper so we'll see how he gets on over three (miles)."
Oscar Rock, rated 137 by Timeform, can be backed at 28.027/1 for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.