Pic D’Orhy will bid to provide trainer Paul Nicholls with a fifth victory in the Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
The Ditcheat handler won four successive renewals of the Grade One contest between 2006 and 2009 with Napolitain, New Little Bric, Silverburn and Herecomesthetruth.
Nicholls has failed to add to his tally during the subsequent 12 years, but has high hopes of doing so this weekend with Pic D’Orhy, who bounced back from a November fall at Newbury with an impressive Grade Two success Ascot the following month.
“The plan at the moment is to run Pic D’Orhy in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase,” said the trainer.
“My feeling with him is that he would go for the Scilly Isles, then on to the Pendil at Kempton Park, then up to Aintree (Manifesto Novices’ Chase).
“I think having spent the first part of last season over fences has helped him as a second-season novice this season.
“He is always going to take a few chances as that is the way he is. He jumped well around Ascot the last day and won well and he should have won at Newbury as well until he fell.
“He has obviously got a huge amount of ability but we have just got to get that jumping a bit more solid and get him to respect the fences a bit more.
“He is rated just below Bravemansgame, who is the highest-rated novice chaser we have in the yard. He is a good horse and it would be nice for him to show that once again at Sandown.”
Pic D’Orhy is a best priced 2-1 for Saturday’s Sandown feature, with the Venetia Williams-trained L’Homme Presse – unbeaten in three starts over fences – the 4-5 favourite.