ZEROSHADESOFGREY will face just four rivals at Wetherby today as he takes the next step in his chasing career.
The seven-year-old had a false start on his fencing bow last seasion, but he shaped with much more promise when an 11-length winner on Charlie Hall Chase day at the West Yorkshire track at the end of last month.
Trainer Neil King is the first to admit Zeroeshadesofgrey’s jumping was far from faultless that day and is eager to see him replicate his home schooling on the track in the racinguk.com/daypass Novices’ Chase.
He said: “We just need to build him up steadily.
“He ran well on his debut, but his jumping needs a bit of a polish – he’s brilliant at home, but just lets himself down on the racecourse.
“He likes a flat, galloping track so this looks a good race for him.
“There’s two options at Doncaster in a couple of weeks, a 0-150 handicap or a novices’ chase, and we’ll have a look at those after Wetherby.”
Should Zeroeshadesofgrey continue on an upward curve, a trip to Cheltenham appears unlikely as he has failed to sparkle in three previous trips to National Hunt racing’s premier track.
King said: “We have tried him at Cheltenham time and again, when everything was 100 per cent right for him.
“He came to the last upsides and we thought he was going to stay on up the hill, but the tank just emptied.
“For whatever reason, the track just doesn’t seem to suit him.
“Possibly Aintree would suit him better, but at a sharp track like that, he would need plenty of cut in the ground, so a wet Spring would be needed.”
Zeroeshadesofgrey has upwards of 16lb in hand on each of his Wetherby rivals on official figures, but Allez Cool, Flashjack, Pithivier and Actinpieces will nevertheless take their chance.