Ben Pauling targets Catterick prize with progressive High Bridge
Wednesday 11 January 2017
High Bridge bids to preserve his unbeaten record over hurdles when he runs at Catterick on Thursday.
Ben Pauling's charge, who was sixth in last season's Champion Bumper at Cheltenham when trained by John Ferguson, made a successful debut over the smaller obstacles at Newbury last month.
Pauling wants to give him this experience in a two-mile novice hurdle before stepping him up in class.
"He is a very nice horse and he has come on a lot for the run at Newbury. I am very excited about him," said the Bourton-on-the-Water trainer.
"It is important Alex (Ferguson, jockey) and the horse get there together.
"Going for the Tolworth on his second run over hurdles would have been quite a tough ask for the horse and for Alex as he has not ridden in many top-class races.
"I just think another run in a novice under a penalty is more suitable. It may be after that we look at something like the Dovecote."
Amongst High Bridge's 13 rivals is the Alan King-trained Top Tug.
Formerly with Sir Michael Stoute on the Flat, the six-year-old made a winning hurdles debut at Kempton in November but has since been beaten at Huntingdon.