Tom George is looking forward to getting Singlefarmpayment back on track in Saturday’s Listed Lavazza Silver Cup at Ascot following the disappointment of watching him fall three out after he had crept into contention in the Ladbrokes Trophy at the start of the month.
A Cheltenham Festival runner-up last season, Singlefarmpayment remains exciting and unexposed over fences and George thinks Saturday’s race can provide the perfect stepping stone to future big-race targets.
“We weighed him this morning and he’s a kilo heavier and has taken the fall as well as he could do,” said George on Monday. “He’ll have another school later in the week and as long as we’re happy he'll probably take his chance at Ascot.”
Reflecting on his Newbury mishap in the race previously run as the Hennessy, the trainer added: “He was a length off the winner and the second horse when coming down and was creeping into it.
"He got a bad start and had to make up a lot of ground but he was getting there. I’m not saying he’d have beaten the first two but he wouldn't have been that far behind.”
Singlefarmpayment was vying for Ascot favouritism at 11-2 with Go Conquer on Monday, when 20 horses were left in the reckoning after then forfeit stage for the 3m Listed handicap chase.
On what could be a big weekend for Gloucestershire trainer George, Aintree winner The Worlds End looks likely to bid for a second top-level success when tackling the JLT-backed Long Walk Hurdle on the same Ascot card.
“He’s in good form and I think we’ve got to put a line through Haydock,” said George. “First time out last year he got beaten at Ffos Las. That was probably a combination of factors, and this looks a good starting point.”
Last year’s Long Walk one-two Unowhatimeanharry and Lil Rockerfeller are also among nine remaining entries, and George added: “We’ve got to work out which route we’re going to take. Either he’s going to be up there with the best of them over hurdles or we should be jumping fences. He’s going to tell us where we are.”