NEXT month’s BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham is the target for Malcolm Jefferson’s classy chaser Cloudy Dream.
Jefferson was speaking after his stable star, ridden by Brian Hughes, was a gallant second to the veteran Smad Place in Aintree’s prestigious Old Roan Chase.
Jumping into the lead three from home, Smad Place, the 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup hero, took the last better than Cloudy Dream and went on to score by three-quarters of a length. However Jefferson was pleased with the run of last season’s Arkle runner-up. “He ran a blinder. He’s settling down now and settled into the race and jumped well,” said the Norton trainer.
“He’s in the race at Cheltenham next month and he’ll probably go for that. I’m sure he’ll get three miles now he’s settling more in his races. I’m very happy with him. I’d liked to have won, but he’s come to Liverpool and run another good race.”
Meanwhile the three mile handicap chase went to Vintage Clouds for owner Trevor Hemmings, trainer Sue Smith and jockey Danny Cook.
Adam McNamara, the 2016 Ebor-winning jockey, is to leave Malton trainer Richard Fahey’s stables. He is to take up an opportunity at Beckhampton with former Derby-winning trainer Roger Charlton.