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."
22 August 2014Sole turns on Power for Hughes
Ab fab in Listed contest
Telescope going international
Mimosa clinches Cup glory
Glenard comes good at York
Fiddes living dream in Gimcrack
Kazeem in Winter wonderland
Cat camp wary of 'bounce'
Byron well versed for Renaissance
Punters' Pall ready for Ebor
Great War out of Gimcrack
Reserves denied Ebor run
Applause sent to the Tower
McCoy records fastest century
Tapestry weaves Taghrooda downfall
Spencer to hang up riding boots
Mukhadram 'sore' after York
Slade 'unlikely' to run at Haydock
Tiggy takes Lowther by storm
Haggas strikes again at York
Signs good for big Estimate run
Power chases Nunthorpe double
Yar makes Ebor cut
21 August 2014Tapestry floors Taghrooda at York
Spencer announces shock retirement
Long bans for Cooper and Gagan
Abandon makes Hopeful return
Alga goes for Gimcrack glory
O'Brien keen on Champion double
Brooch dazzles in Ruby
Game Postponed dominates Voltigeur
Hill scratched from Leger prep
Dutch delivers in Acomb
Blaine works his magic
Byron bids for Curragh Renaissance
Smullen sweet on Anthem chance
Taghrooda ready to wow York
Power heads Nunthorpe field
20 August 2014York enthralled by wizard of Aus
Zarkandar in Ces reckoning
Gosden ponders Cambridgeshire plan
Gal set for easy spell
Estimate leads Lonsdale eight
Glance seeking Lowther glory
Tasaday ready for York test
No tactical concerns for Tag team
Toast ride relinquished by Spencer
Blue is the colour for McCreery
Hill in peak form for Voltigeur
Certain claims clear-cut success
Prince aiming for Acomb glory
Champagne target for Belardo
Telescope team eye Group One glory
Australia camp expect trip to suit
Anthem takes Lowther test
19 August 2014Duke aiming for York reign
Tag tops Oaks field
Matron on Thawaany agenda
Halford anticipates Tosc boost
No hurry for Panama plan
Millman plots weekend Celebration
Overbury role for Dunaden
O'Brien calls on two for Oaks
Newmarket entry for Abandon
O'Brien has some Australia concerns
Pale Mimosa at Ebor summit
Baitha remains in Gimcrack hunt
Anodin fired up for Foret
Moore given Hill role in Voltigeur