Malcolm Jefferson is looking forward to the spring with Cloudy Dream following his fine effort in defeat at Haydock on Saturday.

The six-year-old looked one of the northern circuit’s brightest prospects after winning his first two starts over fences at Carlisle and Haydock, but he was unable to give weight to Nicky Henderson’s Grade One-winning hurdler Buveur D’Air on his return to Merseyside last weekend.

Jefferson feels his charge will be seen to better effect on a sounder surface and is confident there is still plenty to look forward to.

“He ran a good race and he’s come out of it fine,” said the Norton-based trainer.

“We knew going in it was a tall order. You always want to win, but we can’t be disappointed with him.

“My personal opinion is he’s a better horse on better ground and he’ll be a better horse when they go a good gallop.

“He jumped well, from what I could see, and it will be up to Trevor (Hemmings, owner) and Michael (Meagher, racing manager) where they want to go with him now.

“He’ll have January off, anyway, as he wouldn’t be a horse for proper winter ground.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and I don’t think he’s let us down so far.”