BARBURY Castle trainer Alan King admits it is not ideal for Medermit to have his first run for nearly two years on heavy ground in the Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday.

The popular grey has not been seen since finishing a close fourth in the Betfred Bowl at the Grand National meeting of 2012.

He met with a setback at the start of the following season and his return this campaign was delayed slightly by a pulled muscle which prevented him from running at Cheltenham's meeting on New Year's Day.

Now a 10-year-old, Medermit has been second in a Supreme Novices' Hurdle and fourth in an Arkle in his pomp and holds an entry in the Gold Cup next month.

King is, however, just keen to get him back on a racetrack.

"He's obviously been off a very long time," said the Barbury Castle handler.

"He's in good order, though, and we need to get a run into him if we've got any plans of sending him to Cheltenham.

"I would have preferred better ground to bring him back on but we've just got no option.

"If we want a run it will have to be on this ground."