Cole Harden to go up in distance

Plans are in place to step former World Hurdle winner Cole Harden back up in trip in an attempt to kick-start his chasing career.

Cole Harden wins the World Hurdle.

Despite the Grade One winner suffering an odds-on defeat on his chasing bow at Wetherby, trainer Warren Greatrex has no immediate inclination to revert back to hurdles.

The seven-year-old, who is a 33/1 chance with Sky Bet for the RSA Chase, could now head to Lingfield on January 5 for a three-mile novice chase, for what would be a first win since his Cheltenham Festival triumph last year.

Greatrex said: "Initially I was disappointed. I never felt he had any fluency there, but I think in hindsight I was a bit harsh.

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"Gavin (Sheehan) was much more upbeat than I was. He said the two-mile-three trip was too short.

"Ian Popham gave the winner (Its'afreebee) a great ride and put us under pressure. When Gavin did get at him he was staying on at the end. There are positives to take out of it.

"His jumping was okay but not smashing, when we step him up in trip he will have more time. He is a work in progress.

"The main thing is he has come back sound and the knee that was operated on seems fine.

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"He is very happy in himself and there is a race over three miles at Lingfield on January 5. The only thing is the ground could be soft enough, so we will play it by ear.

"There are no plans to go back over hurdles, not at the moment anyway. He has only had one run over fences and deserves another go."

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