Evan Williams is praying conditions improve by Saturday as he is "desperate" to get a run into his John Smith's Grand National hope Cappa Bleu.
The Llancarfan trainer took last season's Aintree fourth out of a planned outing at Exeter because of the heavy ground., but reports him to be ready to return to the track for the first time since he was second on his seasonal debut at Carlisle in November.
Cappa Bleu could reappear at Ascot in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Chase, while he also holds an entry in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday.
"He's in the National Trial which I wouldn't be keen to take on, but he will be declared at the five-day stage," said Williams.
"He will also be entered at Ascot on Saturday in a race he was third in last year, a three-mile handicap. That's where I would like to go, weather permitting.
"I'm desperate to run him. It's got to the stage now where I'm starting to need to run him. He could do with a run. It would be nice if we could slot him in there somewhere."
Testing ground saw Williams withdraw Court Minstrel from Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, but the trainer is not as worried about getting him back on to the track in a hurry.
"He's absolutely fine. We want a bit of decent ground," he said.
"There are plenty of options and I'm not too worried about him because there are so many places he can go in the spring when the ground gets better. I wouldn't run him on that ground so I worked instead on Saturday as I needed to work him because he didn't run.
"There are no problems with him but I will not run him on that ground. I don't think he handled it in the Tolworth (fourth to Melodic Rendezvous) and that form is looking increasingly very good, so I'm going to be patient with him."
8 December 2013Bright start for New Dawn
Twin lights up Hilly Way
Twin lights up Hilly Way
Durkan stroll for Arvika
Unioniste has Lexus aim
New One heading to International
Drowne in hospital after fall
Baby in running for Warwick
Moore sets sights on Kempton
Ex-Oxx ace Mofeed lifts Cup
Cloud and Lantern sunk in Mile
Kanaloa sizzles in Sprint
Dominant shocks The Fugue in Vase
Turner back in business
Faugheen in impressive strike
Flemenstar out of John Durkan
Unioniste claims Listed prize
Grugy great in Tingle Creek
V for victory for Henderson
Chance best in Becher thriller
Hinterland reigns in Henry VIII
Mullins strikes with Gitane
7 December 2013V for victory for Henderson
Twinlight out to show the Way
Wyck primed for big Aintree run
Dandino and Rock miss Vase run
Bec puzzler for Lavelle
Moore's Vino is vintage stuff
Mullins sets sights on Navan
Captain taking charge for Henderson
George plots Aintree gold rush
King out to reign in Henry VIII
Newcastle in talks over AW track
Sir champing at bit for Durkan date
Baby on board for Becher
6 December 2013Carberry sidelined for weekend
Dunaden 'back to his best'
Glance sights fixed on Cup glory
Strawbridge coy over Cloud future
Sire out to profit from Sacre blow
Queen awarded ROA honour
Three-month ban for Arnold
Contrite Butler must 'rebuild life'
Nicholls watching ground for Roque
Topper tests Future waters
Murphy hit by nine-day ban
Big field for Becher
Sacre forced out of Sandown return
Cadeaux team enjoying the ride
Lantern burning bright once more
5 December 2013Rasen survives wind scare
Festival switch for Mares' race
Sacre out of Tingle Creek
No luck for Jwala in Sprint draw
Aigles well ahead of fourth Cup bid
Rasen to check on wind
Butler considers ban response
Court team eyeing Huntingdon return
Oscar on course for Cheltenham
Cantlow in Cheltenham frame
Juddmonte "not for sale"
Noseda content with Grand journey
Cloud future hinges on Mile outcome
Road charts route towards Becher
Knight backs Somersby to shine