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Hit the heights with Regal.

Byline: By Stable Boy

Regal Heights faced an impossible task against the mighty Denman last time but looked a real improver when scoring at Ascot on his penultimate foray to the track.

Donald McCain's charge is still only seven and open to bags of improvement, which suggests a 10lb hike in the ratings might be insufficient to prevent him going in again today.

Two-and-a-half miles in Newbury's Connaught Gold Cup Handicap Chase ought to be nigh-on perfect for McCain's gelding, who just looks that bit classier than the improving Maljimar and Nevertika.

Cloudy Lane is fancied to complete his Grand National build-up with victory in Doncaster's Coolfun Ltd Grimthorpe Chase to put the icing on the cake for McCain.

The eight-year-old has been expertly trained this term, winning the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock in December before enjoying a nice break until earlier this month.

Although he did not have much to beat at Ayr, he could do no more than see off Another Rum by a comfortable eight lengths in what will have been a nice pipe-opener.

McCain looks to have proved pretty shrewd in getting Cloudy Lane into the National on a nice handicap mark and victory here will see his Aintree odds tumble further.

Pagan Starprincess makes appeal getting all the allowances in the totepool Premier Kelso Hurdle at the Borders venue while William Bonney, who has been the subject of some promising gallops reports, is expected to sparkle in Kempton's Betfred Novices' Handicap Chase.

Wolverhampton flies the all-weather flag with a typically competitive yet low-grade card, on which Ninth House rates a likely winner. The six-year-old is on quite a roll at present, having won at both Lingfield Park and this evening's venue on his last two starts, with that latter victory coming over the nine furlongs he will again be tackling this time.

Ninth House beat rival One Night In Paris that day and although the latter is 3lb better off this time, it is hard to see the form being reversed in the Pontin's - The Mother of All Holidays Claiming Stakes.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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