Potential Cheltenham date for Dusart but Henderson taking his time

Nicky Henderson's Dusart has everything going to be a top chaser but was made to toil in the Leicester mud for a debut win over timber. Potential runs at Aintree, Newbury and Cheltenham are options.

The exciting Dusart won a soft ground slog at Leicester on Wednesday but his trainer Nicky Henderson has admitted his novice chaser "still has a lot to learn".

A solid winner on his hurdling debut at Newbury in November, the seven-year-old did not run again until finishing third in a Grade 1 at Aintree's Grand National meeting in April.

Facing just two rivals in the East Midlands, Dusart went off 2-7 favourite in the Pertemps Network Novices' Chase at Leicester, but his victory was tricky.

After jumping left, Henderson's seven-year-old was briefly passed by Sail Away between the final two obstacles, before being focused by Nico de Boinville and eventually prevailing by five lengths.

Henderson said: "It was only the third run of any description in his life and it was a nice race to find, as it was only put on last Saturday - I wasn't intending to come here at all.

"It was always going to be messy and then it got even messier when they took all the fences out. The one thing I didn't expect was for him to jump left. He has never suggested he would do that.

"He was green and it looked like he was going to get completely outgalloped for a moment. He probably blew up and then found his second wind.

"Nico had to wake him up to do it, but it's been a long time since Aintree and he still has a lot to learn. He'll heave learnt a lot today, I'm sure."

Coral make Dusart a 25-1 shot for both the Turners Novices' Chase and the longer Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but Henderson is taking a watching brief on his capable but green chaser.

"You're obviously going to go left-handed next time and the good thing is all the races in the spring are left-handed," he added.

"I'm not making any predictions on where he's going, but there are a lot of good races in the spring that are that way round at places like Newbury, Cheltenham and Aintree.

"We probably always didn't think he'd go to Cheltenham and he's not going to go on the back of that whatever happens. He's got to get out there and do it again and again.

"I think he's got to learn more about life. At Newbury he won on the bridle and he didn't know what had happened to him when he went round Aintree over two miles - they ran him off his feet!

"Today, he's gone up to two-miles-six on his debut over fences, so it's been a pretty unconventional route to say the least.

"He did have a pretty nasty accident in the middle of last season and he was doing a Shishkin on me earlier this year - I couldn't get him right, his trach washes were wrong and we had to wait.

"He is for the future and you'd like to stay small for his next run.

"He's got plenty of ability, we needn't worry about that."

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