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Barton hits Gold trail at Haydock on Saturday; Easterby star to make long-awaited return in Peter Marsh.

Byline: LEE MOTTERSHEAD

BARTON will end his absence from injury and go on trial for the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup at Haydock on Saturday after being confirmed a definite runner in the Bet Direct Peter Marsh Chase.

The Tim Easterby-trained ten-year-old, who rounded off an excellent first season over fences when running away with the Mildmay Chase at Aintree, suffered a foot problem in the autumn which had threatened to rule him out for the whole campaign.

However, the former outstanding hurdler has made excellent progress and will make his reappearance in a race that could also feature former Gold Cup hero See More Business and fellow Cheltenham Festival winners Hussard Collonges and Royal Auclair.

Trainer's father Peter Easterby, who completed the Peter Marsh-Gold Cup double with Little Owl in 1981, said: "Barton definitely runs at

Haydock. He's in good form, super, and Tony Dobbin rides him."

Joe Tizzard, who rode See More Business into third in last year's Gold Cup, is set to be reunited with the 13-year-old if he is handed the green light to run on Saturday.

Successful in the Rehearsal Chase in December, See More Business has been joined in the Peter Marsh five-day list by Whitenzo, also trained by Paul Nicholls, who was denied a run at Warwick last week when the meeting was abandoned.

Nicholls said: "Only one of the two will run and I'll decide later in the week. See More Business seems as sprightly as ever and, if the ground is testing at Haydock, that should not be a problem. He has other options, including the Jim Ford, and, if he doesn't go, Whitenzo will. Provisionally, Joe will ride whichever runs."

Ferdy Murphy has entered both Truckers Tavern and Historg in the three-mile

contest, while Martell Grand National winner Bindaree could continue his build-up to an Aintree repeat bid in the pounds 60,000 showpiece.

Deano's Beeno, the conqueror of Baracouda at Ascot last month, could attempt a second victory in the Premier Stayers' Hurdle after appearing among a ten-strong

five-day entry.

The Red Square Champion Hurdle Trial, the third Grade 2 on Haydock's card and a possible target for Cheltenham Festival and Aintree winner

Ilnamar and recent Cheltenham victor Flame Creek, was reopened yesterday. Another Saturday feature to be reopened until this morning is Wincanton's John Bull Chase, in which both Edredon Bleu and Poliantas may run.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2003
Words:396
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