Cloudy team reflect upon reverse

Connections of Cloudy Dream are making no excuses for his defeat in the Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster.

Cloudy Dream (right): Beaten at Doncaster

An impressive winner on his first two starts over fences, Malcolm Jefferson's charge then bumped into the high-class Buveur D'Air at Haydock.

The seven-year-old looked set to give owner Trevor Hemmings a welcome boost on Saturday following the death of Many Clouds at Cheltenham just minutes earlier, but after having travelled smoothly into the lead, he was unable to repel the late surge of Forest Bihan.

Ruth Jefferson, assistant to her father, said: "The other horse just found a gear he didn't have after the last. It happens.

"Our horse jumped and travelled well and has come out of it fine.

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"He has entries in the Arkle and the JLT (at the Cheltenham Festival) and he'll also get handicap entries, so we'll see where we are nearer the time."

Jefferson enjoyed better luck on Doncaster's Friday card, with the Hemmings-owned Mount Mews justifying odds-on favouritism in some style.

Now a dual winner from three starts over hurdles, he is another who could be in action at Cheltenham in March.

"He's in good form and he'll be entered in the Supreme and the Neptune," said Ruth Jefferson.

"On form he was entitled to do what he did the other day, to be fair. He's a horse that only does as much as he has to do.

"If he is going to go to Cheltenham I think he'd need another run.

"There are no immediate plans and I'd imagine it will be the end of February or early March before he runs again.

"There's a race at Kelso at the start of March, which would obviously be close to Cheltenham, but there's always Aintree."

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