Dan Skelton has earmarked the Towton Novices’ Chase as the main aim for Ardlethen (David Davies/PA Images).Dan Skelton plans to work backwards from an outing in the Towton Novices’ Chase at Wetherby with Ardlethen.

The Alcester trainer has earmarked the extended three mile Grade Two contest at the West Yorkshire track in February as the six year-old’s main aim for the season.

After finishing down the field on his final start over hurdles in a Grade One at Aintree in April, Ardlethen made his debut over fences a triumphant one at Chepstow last week.

Skelton said: “I’ve got to talk to Mike and Eileen Newbould (owners) about him, but the thing about him is he wants three miles in soft ground.

“I’ve said to them, and they agree, that the long-term target is the Towton. That is his seasonal target, and anything around that is a bonus.

“What road we take to that, I’m not sure at the moment. There is a race at Ffos Las on November 10 – but that is a long way for the Newboulds, so we might look at something closer.”