Fledgling trainer Oliver Greenall is looking to Cave Top to give him the most notable success of his career in the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick on Saturday.
The former amateur jockey is in his second season with a licence and Cave Top is doing his bit to put him on the map having won on three of his four outings this campaign and finishing second in the other.
“He’s progressing quickly and I just thought we might as well go for a bigger race,” said the Cheshire handler.
“He seems to love the ground. He might need to improve a bit, but the track will suit so we’ll see.
“Why not have a go? It’s a small field with decent prize-money.
“We won’t run him that much more this season. He’s a lovely, big horse. He’s only just turned six and will be going chasing next season.
“He’s the highest-rated horse we’ve got so it’s nice that he can take us to the bigger days.
“A winner on ITV on a Saturday would be a big thing for a yard like ours.”
Count Meribel arguably sets the standard for the Nigel Twiston-Davies team.
The six-year-old has also won three out of four this term, with his only defeat coming in Grade Two company at Cheltenham over three miles.
Twiston-Davies, who won this race with The New One in 2013, said: “He’s been a revelation this year. He hasn’t done a lot wrong at all.
“I think last time at Cheltenham he possibly just found three miles up Cheltenham’s stiff hill a little far. He looked all over the winner for most of the race.
“Over two miles and five furlongs on softish ground, that should be good.
“I expect he’ll be going chasing next year.”
Paisley Park is the least experienced runner in the field, but won on his only start over hurdles when he took advantage of a last-flight stumble by Vision Des Flos.
Trainer Emma Lavelle, who has enjoyed a good start to the year, said:
“We know he stays. He’ll go in the ground so we haven’t got much to lose, really.
“I think he’s a nice horse. Is he good enough to win a race like this? I don’t know, but he does everything right at home and I think he deserves his place.
“Nick (Scholfield, jockey) always felt he was always going to do enough to win last time. I don’t know where that form leaves us but I do know that he has improved plenty since, just because he was so green more than anything else.
“He deserves a try in one of these. We’ve got nothing to lose and he can only keep on improving.
“He was very sick after he ran in his bumper last year with a slow- burning colic. He was at the vets for a month and we thought we were going to lose him.
“Thankfully he recovered. He had a lovely summer and did well for himself. He’ll tell us what he’s ready to do for the rest of the year.
“If he’s impressive you might look at something bigger.”
Evan Williams runs the unbeaten Chooseyourweapon, while Nicky Henderson’s Mr Whipped is also defending a perfect record.
Dan Skelton’s Knight In Dubai completes the six-runner field.