King mulling Grey options

Neil King will consider skipping the Cheltenham Festival with his exciting novice hurdler Zeroeshadesofgrey and instead aim towards Punchestown later in the spring.

The dual bumper winner made a flying start to his jumping career with bloodless back-to-back victories at Uttoxeter, before completing a hat-trick at Doncaster.

He disappointed when favourite at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, but bounced back to finish a close third in the River Don Novices’ Hurdle back at Doncaster last month and King is unsure whether the Prestbury Park undulations are to his liking.

“He ran really well at Doncaster last time, beaten half a length by Blaklion and an improving young horse of Nicky Henderson’s (Caracci Apache),” the trainer told At The Races.

“He ran above my expectations. The ground had dried up enough for him that day. It was a tough performance and he battled it out well from the last.

“Cheltenham is in mind, but I think he’ll be better off at Punchestown. He loves the soft ground, so we’re really working backwards from Punchestown with him.

“He was disappointing (at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day) and to this day we don’t know why. He might just be one of those horses that doesn’t like Cheltenham.

“This year is not the be all and end all for him. He’s a chaser in the making.”