Chris Gordon already has a big spring target for his promising novice hurdler Lord Baddesley, in the Grade Three EBF Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final at Sandown.
After two solid bumper efforts, the five-year-old won well on his sole hurdles start to date at Fontwell this month.
Gordon is now aiming to qualify for the Sandown finale in March, which carries a prize of £75,000, and he therefore intends to sidestep the Cheltenham Festival.
“I’d be quite keen to get him qualified for the EBF Final,” he said.
“He’s a very nice novice, but he’s a future chaser – like most of the horses I’m trying to buy nowadays.
“When you’ve got a plan like the EBF it’s brilliant – because it’s at the beginning of Cheltenham (Festival) week.
“You can go to Sandown and be in a bit more of a sensible handicap, and it keeps you away from going to Cheltenham.”
To be eligible for the final, horses must finish in the top four in one of a series of qualifiers, and Lord Baddesley may try to do so at Wincanton on November 7.
“I was looking at an EBF qualifier down at Wincanton,” added Winchester trainer Gordon.
“A two-miler down there – I’ve got that pencilled in. Having said that, we will wait until we’ve got proper winter ground.”