The Cheltenham Gold Cup dream is still alive for Andy Edwards, despite L’Homme Presse having to settle for second behind an on-song Pic D’Orhy in the Betfair Ascot Chase.

Edwards, who co-owns the horse with Peter and Patricia Pink, described taking on the likes of Pic D’Orhy and Ahoy Senor in the Ascot Grade One as a privilege prior to the race and although his pride and joy may have tasted defeat in this particular battle, he was taking plenty of positives from the outing in Berkshire.

Connections missed out on their chance to compete in the blue riband last season when injury struck Venetia Williams’ stable star.

However, despite being eased in the Gold Cup betting following his Ascot reverse, L’Homme Presse’s sights are firmly locked on a return to Prestbury Park and a course that has been the scene of some of the nine-year-old’s best performances.

“He’s got the same chance that he had yesterday as he has now, he’s the horse that he is,” said Edwards.

“It was a bit short for him that race, the ground has dried out, but no excuses, the winner has won well and we’re very happy.

“He’s ran through the line and was doing his best work at the end. The extra five furlongs (in the Gold Cup) is his ideal trip and it was always going to be tough when there was no rain last night.”

L’Homme Presse had made a scintillating return from injury at Lingfield last month, but found himself behind the eight ball from an early stage as Pic D’Orhy took full advantage of a home fixture at a track he knows well, bouncing out and making all.

It was a race ultimately contested on drying good to soft ground and despite a momentary consideration about pulling stumps and heading straight to the Cheltenham Festival, connections took the sporting option to compete and complete their Gold Cup prep as planned.