Cheltenham aim for Intention
Third Intention will head to Cheltenham for the Open meeting but whether he runs in the feature Paddy Power Gold Cup has still to be decided.
Despite going through his first season over fences without a win, Colin Tizzard's charge ran some fine races in defeat.
He returned this term with a good win over prolific scorer Rebel Fitz and could remain in novice company or take on his elders.
"Third Intention may have an entry in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. We haven't decided, but novices have run in it before and he isn't a complete novice because he was running over fences last year," said Tizzard.
"There is also the Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase. He will almost certainly go back to Cheltenham, but for which race is still undecided.
"He did not have too hard a race on Friday and has come out of that well. Making the running was not a problem and for a two-horse race I thought it was quite a spectacle.
"He had a wind operation over the summer because he got beat a couple of times last year when it appeared his head came up, which meant he was either shirking it or he couldn't get his wind.
"We had to check it and there was a slight problem, so we had it done, but whether that has made a difference, time will tell. He did put his head down after the last at Cheltenham though, which was lovely to see.
"We had him entered in the two-mile, two-and-a-half-mile, and three-mile novices' chases at Cheltenham and we plumped for the one in between because we aren't entirely sure what his best trip is. I don't think anyone can be because he also ran very well over three miles at Aintree and Kempton last season, and two miles before that."
Stablemates Oiseau Du Nuit and Golden Chieftain, both winners at the Cheltenham Festival, may join Third Intention at The Open meeting.
"Oiseau De Nuit will run this weekend at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase and will then go to Cheltenham for The Open, where he could go for the Shloer Chase. It is a three-week gap between the two meetings and that is ideal," said Tizzard.
"There is a chance Golden Chieftain will start at The Open as well, but we may give him a racecourse gallop and go to the Hennessy instead. I don't think he can do both and he could have started at Cheltenham last week but I thought the ground would be plenty quick enough for him, so I didn't enter him."