Peter Scudamore believes there is still more to come from Ahoy Senor

Peter Scudamore reluctantly conceded that the recent cold snap may have contributed to Ahoy Senor’s fifth-place finish in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Winner of the Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April, the Lucinda Russell-trained seven-year-old has yet to score in three starts this term and was beaten 33 lengths by Bravemansgame in the Boxing Day feature.

Last season's high-class novice jumped with plenty of fluency out of the soft ground in the three-mile event, which pleased connections, even if the result left something to be desired.

Russell's partner and assistant, eight-time champion jockey Scudamore, said Ahoy Senor was not disgraced and could now head to the Grade Two Paddy Power Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on January 28.

"It's funny really, I had been worried about his jumping, I got his jumping right but I've got to get his galloping right," said Scudamore.

"I was disappointed, but when you are dealing with a horse at that level, you get disappointed. If I want to grasp at straws and make excuses, I think we have run one or two who, once the snow came, I couldn't get them on the main gallop. I hate using those excuses, but I do think that.

"He was fifth in a King George and I know L'Homme Presse unseated at the last, but he hasn't disgraced himself."

Too keen on his return in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, and not fluent early on when a close-up third to last season's Grand National winner Noble Yeats in the Many Clouds at Aintree, Ahoy Senor made just one minor jumping error in the King George.

"It is not show jumping," said Scudamore. "I thought he jumped well. It is the first time since Aintree that he has got all his jumping together.

"I've no complaints with his jumping. We have just got to get him galloping and we probably needed a gallop or two more.

"Some of the horses it suits, some of the heavier horses it doesn't. It is my job to get them right.

"I think with better ground and better preparation, there is some more to come."

Though some pundits suggested that the Sunbury track would not play to the strengths of the Bruce Wymer-owned Dylan Thomas gelding, Scudamore was quick to dispel those arguments.

He added: "Even last year, people blamed the track, but I don't think the track made any difference to him. He's run well at Cheltenham, he's run well at Liverpool, he jumped well round Kempton. So, let's get the facts out - I think he handles any track.

"I think when he gets the right race, when he's right, he'll win again."

Russell and Scudamore will try to keep Ahoy Senor and fellow stable star Corach Rambler apart, although the latter, winner of the the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, could return to the Prestbury Park track next month should he not run on Winter Millions day at Lingfield on January 22.

Scudamore said: "It depends on the ground. I wouldn't run Ahoy if it is very soft at Cheltenham, but he might go to the Cotswold Chase.

"Corach Rambler has got Lingfield or the Cotswold Chase. I think he might go to the Fleur De Lys and if the ground was very soft at Cheltenham, he might go to the Cotswold Chase, but I'd favour Lingfield. We'll see closer to the time."

The two miles and six furlongs Fleur De Lys chase could prove a stepping stone to the Grand National for Corach Rambler, who was a staying-on fourth to Le Milos in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury last month.

With the David Pipe-trained runner-up Remastered backing that up with an authoritative win over three miles at Kempton on Tuesday, Scudamore is hopeful the eight-year-old can follow suit.

"I was delighted to see Remastered frank the form," he added. "The Coral Gold Cup was the best staying handicap this side of the water.

"I was pleased with his run, so Corach is going to have his first piece of work since that run today (Friday). He'll have two runs before the Grand National - that's the dream."

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