Viva Steve will bid to bolster his chances of an appearance in the Grand National when he runs in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick on Saturday week.
After failing to make the cut for last month’s Welsh National at Chepstow, trainer Fergal O’Brien is to reroute the nine-year-old towards a tilt at the Grade Three prize.
The Paul and Clare Rooney-owned Viva Steve made his first start for the Naunton handler a winning one with a front-running success at Ayr in November.
O’Brien said: “I was one the one who persuaded the owners not to run at Haydock in the Tommy Whittle and wait for the Welsh National.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t get in but that is life and worse things happen.
“He will go to Warwick now for the Classic Chase and he goes there a fresh horse.
“Obviously he needs to go up in the weights to get in the National but that is the plan.
“Hopefully we will get there.”