First Lieutenant could try to get his season back on track in the Betfair Chase at Haydock later this month.

Placed in the Champion Chase at Down Royal, the Hennessy Gold Cup, the Lexus Chase, the Ryanair Chase and the Punchestown Gold Cup last season, the eight-year-old enjoyed his day in the sun in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree's Grand National meeting.

He was beaten at odds-on on his seasonal return at Punchestown last month, but was expected to strip fitter for his return to Down Royal at the weekend.

However, he trailed home a well-beaten fourth of six runners and trainer Mouse Morris is at a loss to explain his abject display.
Morris said: "He was disappointing on the day, but we can't find anything wrong with him. We're just going to have to put it down as one of those days. It was a complete write-off, to be honest with you.

"He was over 20 lengths further behind Roi Du Mee than he was at Punchestown, so he's gone backwards and he should have improved.

"It never happened on the day for whatever reason, but we haven't given up the ghost just yet and I think we'll probably go to Haydock for the Betfair Chase (23 November).

"I want to get another run in between now and Christmas and that is an obvious place to go."