Graeme McPherson considers Yorkshire raid with Cheltenham hope Ami Desbois

Thu 19 Jan 2017

Graeme McPherson wants to ease Ami Desbois in class to boost his confidence ahead of a tilt at the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Stow-on-the-Wold handler has potentially earmarked a three-mile handicap hurdle at Wetherby on February 4, though he might instead run in a Grade Two at Doncaster on Saturday week.

After winning his first two starts of the season, Ami Desbois has since finished second in a Grade Two at Cheltenham and third in last month's Challow Hurdle at Newbury.

McPherson said: "Ami Desbois has been fantastic for us this season.

"He was bursting for a run and he was in the Challow so we let him take his chance. It was a fantastic performance as it was over a trip that was too short on ground that was a bit quick for him.

"He will go back to three miles now as the plan all season has been the Albert Bartlett. He will almost certainly have one more run before that.

"There is the River Don at the end of January at Doncaster. He finished third in that last year behind Barters Hill and that was when we knew he might be a horse that is potentially special.

"I would love it if it was soft ground there, but you don't always get that at Doncaster. If not, there is a three-mile handicap at Wetherby the week after.

"I am probably looking at Wetherby rather than Doncaster as it is a slightly easier race.

"Fingers crossed he could get his head in front there and get a confidence-boosting win before Cheltenham."

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