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Fox fancied to gain second win; View from the training centres.

CLIFTON FOX, the once-useful Flat performer, can make it two out of two over hurdles by winning the Libby Soley Nimmo's XXXX Novices' Hurdle (2.15) at Newcastle today, writes Colin Russell.

The eight-year-old, formerly with Jeremy Glover, but now in the care of Jonjo O'Neill, came back after a layoff of three years to win over course and distance on his jumping debut last month.

He scored in style as well, because he was always going well and needed only minimum assistance from Richard Johnson to beat subsequent Ayr winner Lord Of The Sky by four lengths.

Although Clifton Fox faces a sterner test today, he is fancied to win again.

Swanbister, from the Len Lungo yard, has been a shade disappointing this season, but the three miles six furlongs of the John Smith's Handicap Chase (1.10) should be ideal for him and he is preferred to Mister Muddypaws.

Lungo can land a second winner of the afternoon with Valigan in the Jennings Brothers Brewery Handicap Hurdle (2.50).

The seven-year-old gelding, who goes really well in soft ground, has won in good style at Hexham and Musselburgh on his last two starts.

Another mudlark, Moss Pageant, can go well in the Castle Eden Trophy Special Handicap Chase (1.40).

This tough front-runner, trained by Jimmy Walton, has no easy task from 7lb out of the handicap, but he goes particularly well at Newcastle and is fancied to overturn last month's Haydock form with top weight Count Karmuski.

At Warwick, the improving Reverse Charge, trained by Chris Grant, can take the Ladbroke Casinos Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (2.40), while the Bill Haigh-trained Sillars Stalker is fancied to go well in the Tote Scoop6 Warwick National Chase (3.10).

LINGFIELD: 3.35 Redoubtable.

NEWCASTLE: 12.40 Royal Tipple, 1.10 Swanbister, 1,40 Moss Pageant (nap), 2.15 Clifton Fox, 2.50 Valigan, 3.25 Donnybrook, 3.55 Roman Rampage.

WARWICK: 1.35 Highland Tracker, 2.40 Reverse Charge, 3.10 Sillars Stalker.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Russell, Colin
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2000
Words:334
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