Nicky Richards believes next month's Cheltenham Festival could "come a year too soon" for exciting novice hurdler Eduard.
Third behind Melodic Rendezvous and Royal Boy in a red-hot race at Cheltenham in December, the five-year-old was a different class to his rivals in a lesser grade at Carlisle on Wednesday.
Eduard holds entries in two of the major novice hurdles at the Festival, but is more likely to line up in the Grade Two totepool.com Premier Kelso Hurdle on March 2 before taking on the big boys again at Aintree's Grand National meeting.
His trainer said: "It wasn't a great race but he did exactly what we wanted him to do. He's had a nice run round and I'm sure it will have done him the world of good.
"The horse has so much untapped potential.
"My feeling is Cheltenham is going to come a year too soon for him.
"I'm pretty sure if my father had him he might just be having his first run in a bumper now as he's a completely unfurnished horse at the moment - just the sort of horse father would love.
"I think he might be looking down and telling me not to go to Cheltenham with him and, at the moment, we're thinking we'll go for the race at Kelso.
"I certainly wouldn't be afraid to take on those better horses again at Aintree if all goes well at Kelso."
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