David Bridgwater says The Conditional has earned his place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup after his recent second in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
The Conditional ran an impressive race when only finishing behind De Rasher Counter at Newbury and he's on the initial list for the big Cheltenham showpiece in March.
Trainer Bridgwater takes his charge to Warwick on Saturday for the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Chase, where the eight-year-old is likely to go off as favourite ahead of Le Breuil and Kimberlite Candy.
"We could have run in the novice but he ran so well in the Ladbrokes Trophy we felt he deserved another shot at a really big prize - and he's improved again since," said Bridgwater on Sky Sports.
The Conditional is rated at around 100/1 for the Gold Cup at the moment and Bridgwater knows stepping up to win a race of that level is a tough ask..
However, victory on Saturday would increase the expectation on his charge and the trainer is upbeat over his progress.
He added: "I'm not stupid - I know putting a 142-rated horse in the Gold Cup might make me look it but were he to go and win this, I'd be kicking myself for not putting him in.
"The Gold Cup down the years is littered with talking horses who didn't stay, and stayers hitting the frame at big prices. Every so often you'll get a Kauto Star or a Best Mate who will dominate but I don't think we're in that era now - it's been hit and miss for a few years.
"For the sake of the entry fee, it is worth putting him in it - and if you're not in, you can't win."
Article Posted on Friday 10th January 2020 @ 17.58
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