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Fondmort tops a class bill of stayers.

Byline: By Anita Chambers

Staying will be the name of the game for horses this week while punters will have to put on their thinking caps as the Racing Post Chase takes centre stage.

The extended three-mile contest has been transferred to Sandown this year with Kempton undergoing redevelopment, but the change in venue will not detract from a thrilling handicap event.

Some great horses have contested this race, not least Desert Orchid who gave at least two stone to all his rivals to take the glory in 1990 and racegoers will be hoping for another star to shine.

Fondmort currently tops the weights with some classy individuals beneath him and it will be fascinating to see how the race works out.

Three late Festival trials are also on the bill with the Pendil Novices' Chase, the Anglo Irish Bank Novices Hurdle and Adonis Juvenile Novices' Hurdle offering an opportunity for Cheltenham possibles to strut their stuff.

Racing Post Chase day is the second of two days at Sandown with the amateurs proving the stars of the show in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup Chase on Friday.

Haydock have also benefited from the temporary closure of Kempton as they now stage the Rendlesham Hurdle as the highlight of a decent Thursday fixture.

Thoughts at Newcastle may turn towards the John Smith's Grand National as the totesport Eider over four miles and a furlong offers a real test of stamina.

The pounds 75,000 prize fund is sure to catch more than one trainer's eye and with Aintree just a couple of months away, this looks a good opportunity for the gallopers.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2006
Words:271
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