Jefferson mulls over Champion Chase bid for Waiting Patiently
Impressive Kempton winner Waiting Patiently could revert to two miles next month with a view to a crack at the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
The high-class northern chaser has run over 2m4f on his last three starts and was cut in price for the Ryanair Chase at that trip after scoring emphatically in Listed company on Saturday.
Next weekend's 2m Clarence House Chase at Ascot has been dismissed as an option because it comes too soon but the unbeaten chaser could drop back in distance in the Betfair Exchange Chase (formerly the Game Spirit) at Newbury next month.
"There are a couple of races in February for him," trainer Malcolm Jefferson's daughter and assistant Ruth said on Sunday. "We'll have a look at the Game Spirit and the Ascot Chase. You wouldn't be afraid to run him at two miles if the ground came up heavy, he's not slow.
"If you were thinking of dropping back for the Champion Chase you'd like to run him at two miles before that just to make sure he has the speed for that but he looks as though he does.
"But the weather will dictate what we do more than anything, he wants good to soft/soft ground and we wouldn't run him if he didn't get it."
Another Final fancy
Stablemate Black Ivory won a Pertemps Hurdle qualifier at Warwick on Saturday and is set to head to Haydock next month in an attempt to make the final, which the yard won with Tindari in 1994 and Cape Tribulation in 2012.
"The bottom weight was rated 137 last year and he ran off 126 at Warwick so he's got a little bit to find," Jefferson said. "He's going to have to run again and he'll probably go to Haydock on the 17th for their Pertemps qualifier, which fits nicely in between yesterday and the final.
"We were chuffed to bits with him yesterday, he's a lovely little horse and he keeps improving."
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