After speaking to owners Diamond Racing on Wednesday morning we have decided to skip Cheltenham with Ashes House (pictured right, Kurt Smith), who had been an intended runner in the Champion Bumper.

Though the horse is very well in himself at home, he was another of ours to miss a couple of pieces of work last month and, given he really needs juice in the ground to be seen to best effect, the forecast does not look at all in his favour. We have therefore decided against rushing him for the Festival and he will instead be aimed at Aintree and Punchestown, with the ground likely to dictate where we go with him. Looking further ahead, he will go novice hurdling next season and is a tremendously exciting prospect.

One who will definitely be going to Cheltenham next week is First Fandango (pictured left working this morning under Jason Kiely) who, following discussions with his owners WRB Racing & Premier Chance Racing this morning, is highly likely to go for the Coral Cup instead of the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle.

Looking ahead to the weekend, I am looking forward to running Elsafeer (pictured nearside, Claire Rosser) in the EBF Final at Sandown Park. Winner of a Listed novice hurdle at Kempton Park in October, he has not been at his best the last twice but his latest effort at Market Rasen should put him spot on for Saturday and he looks in great shape at home.