By Andrew Atkinson

Lucinda Russell OBE reports Ahoy Senor is heading for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival in the wake of his defeat on Boxing Day – with an outing at Wetherby in February pencilled in.

“We could look at the Towton Novices’ Chase at Wetherby in February – that would give him enough time before Cheltenham, and the track would suit him,” said Russell, who trained 2017 Aintree Grand National winner One For Arthur.

Ahoy Senor finished behind Bravemansgame in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton, beaten 7 1/2 lengths: “You can’t expect to win every time,” reasoned Russell.

“What’s exciting is we’ve got improvement in him – if we can tighten his jumping up and get him back on a galloping track. Kempton suited the winner more than us,” added Russell.

Six-year-old Ahoy Senor is priced 10-1 for the Cheltenham Festival Novices’ Chase in March, with Galopin Des Champs 7-4 ante-post favourite, ahead of Bravemansgame following a win at Leopardstown on December 28.

Cheltenham Festival Novices’ Chase betting: 7-4 Galopin Des Champs, 100-30 Bravemansgame, 10-1 Ahoy Senor, 12-1 bar.

Caption:┬áLucinda Russell OBE trainer of Ahoy Senor: You can’t expect to win every time.