Emma Lavelle is considering running Highly Prized in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, if the gelding gets his conditions.
Highly Prized was trained on the flat by Lady Cecil in Newmarket, but later sold to race in America.
After one run over hurdles in the USA, he returned to the UK and the yard of Lavelle, for whom he won on debut at Wincanton. Further successes followed at Newton Abbot and Huntingdon – but Lavelle will only bid for the valuable Newbury prize if the ground is better than soft.
She told Press Association: “We are training Highly Prized for the Betfair Hurdle.
“But he doesn’t want soft ground. I may be being a bit optimistic, but every time I see the sun on my weather app, I think ‘maybe’. I would love to be able to run him.
“He is really coming along well. The Betfair Hurdle was too valuable a race not to train him for and we are taking a bit of a punt with the weather.
“Hilary Pridham, who is Mike Stidham’s partner, took a share in the horse with Dan Donoghue, who was keen to explore new avenues,” said Lavelle.
“He was just below Listed class on the Flat there and ran out of opportunities.
“Before he came to me, he had one run over hurdles in the US for Jack Fisher, just to make sure he could get off the ground. Hilary and Dan have both been over to watch him run.
“He is a decent horse who has enjoyed the training regime over here. I think he has plenty of ability and his confidence has kept growing.
“He won a nice prize at Huntingdon and although he went up 10lb, I think he is on the upgrade so it shouldn’t be out of the way to be able to cope with that, but he will need the right conditions.”