Touch wood, Chef D’Oeuvre (Fontwell, 3.30) will register his second win over hurdles this afternoon as he looks to face a relatively simple task even with the penalty. The form of his run at Cheltenham last time behind Yanworth is light-years ahead of what these rivals have achieved and it will be good to get some more experience into him as he’s still very much a young horse learning the game.

I think we are more likely to wait for Punchestown than go to Cheltenham with him as he’s a horse who needs soft ground, which he’s more likely to get in Ireland than at Prestbury Park next month, but wherever he goes this spring, he’s going to be a cracking horse next year.

Our only runner on Friday could also be a winner because Postbridge ran a cracker at that track on debut for us and her recent work tells me she’s ready to build on that now. We laid off her for a bit immediately after as she picked up a small problem but this mare is back in rude health now and I would be disappointed if she didn’t go very close, especially if the race cuts up.

I’ve made no secret of how highly I rate Aloomomo but I want to conserve his chase mark as we have a few handicap options at Cheltenham. However, I want to give him another run before the festival, so we are going to run over hurdles at Ascot on Saturday (1.15). He is rated 11lb lower over the smaller obstacles but this isn’t a case of us ‘cashing in’ on his apparently lenient hurdles mark because I think he’s a much better chaser than hurdler.

It’s a competitive race and I won’t be disappointed if he gets beat because this is part of his preparation for Cheltenham, where he will be one of our best chances of a winner.

One Track Mind heads up to Haydock for the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle and I’m expecting him to take this step up in class in his stride. He gets weight from one or two of his fancied rivals, he’ll relish the testing ground and he’s in great form at home so I’m quite hopeful that he will do us proud. To my mind, One Track Mind is the only horse in the race that isn’t fully exposed and I would be disappointed if he wasn’t capable of making his mark at this level.

Boite and Blue Atlantic could both run at Wincanton on Sunday but neither would carry a great deal of confidence. Blue Atlantic is quite a big stuffy horse who needs a lot of work, and this is his first run since May, so expect it to bring him on, while Boite ideally needs a sound surface, which he probably won’t get this time. That said, I do think he has quite a lot more to offer over hurdles, under the right conditions, and he’s one to keep an eye out for.

I’ll be back on Monday to look ahead at my Cheltenham Festival plans so don’t miss it!

All the best,

Warren
One Track Mind - 1pt @ 7/2