A weekend winner proved elusive but we were thrilled with the performance of Chef D’Oeuvre who ran a cracker against his elders in the novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham – and he would have finished even closer had Gavin [Sheehan] not dropped his whip.

We could go to the Cheltenham Festival with him or keep him for Punchestown, where he would be more likely to get the soft ground he wants, but we’ll get a win into him at a smaller track first and then make a decision on what route to take. Either way, he’s an exciting horse for the future.

Dolatulo didn’t run badly at Doncaster but the ground was quite chewed up by the time they ran that race and that wouldn’t have been ideal for him.

We’ve got a couple of runners on Wednesday and April Dusk must have decent prospects of completing the hat-trick at Leicester. He’s been put up 6lb for his half-length success at Uttoxeter but he was value for a bit more than the margin suggests that day and the step up in trip (he’s a proper three-mile chaser in the making) can unlock further improvement in this progressive 7yo. The ground will be no issue and he’s a horse I’ve got a lot of time for.

Apache Pearl (Ludlow, 1.40) showed a bit more on his second start but I think he might breathing issues which is why we are trying a tongue-tie on him this time. He’s not shown enough to be of betting interest but he definitely has ability and we are still finding our way with him.

We could have a few runners on Thursday, starting with Ceann Sibheal at Towcester (1.10). He hasn’t shown a great deal so far but he’s a big horse who should do better in time and switching to handicaps should help him.

Caitys Joy has an entry at Towcester and Wincanton, as well as Wetherby on Saturday, and she will have a good chance in whichever race she ends up in. I was really pleased with her run at Huntingdon where only a lack of race sharpness told in the closing stages. She has come on for that run so ought to be able to make the most of the right opportunity.

Bourdy also has multiple options this week but keep an eye out for him because he ran better than expected on debut having lost ground at the start, and he’s entitled to have learnt a lot from what turned out to be a very promising debut run. He wants some juice in the ground so conditions will suit him wherever he goes.

Berlington Burt is in at Wincanton on Thursday and Chepstow on Friday and he’s a horse I like a lot. He’s had a breathing operation since he ran at Ascot, where he didn’t face the tongue-tie and his main target this season is a £50k EBF bumper at Newbury in March, but he’s in great form at home and is more than good enough to pick up a penalty in a run of the mill bumper before then.

All the best,

April Dusk - 1pt @ 2/1