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Knight issues warning over star's Haldon bid.

Byline: David Carr

FEW horses are less deserving of the tag `old dog' than Edredon Bleu, but Henrietta Knight is taking a chance by trying to teach him a `new trick' at the age of 11 in the Haldon Gold Cup this

afternoon, writes David Carr.

Now in his eighth season, Jim Lewis's veteran has built a thoroughly deserved reputation as a top-class chaser, and has won 16 races, including this contest 12 months ago.

He took his career earnings to around pounds 525,000 when breaking the 21-furlong course record in the Desert Orchid Chase at Wincanton nine days ago, but Knight warned: "He has never run in two races so close together before, he has always had quite a long gap between his races.

"He's so well and we thought this was his time of year, so we are trying him again. He just had a stroll round at Wincanton. The handicapper hasn't put him up - he couldn't really."

That means top weight of 11st 10lb is equivalent to a BHB rating of 165, as it was when Edredon Bleu took this prize by ten lengths from Seebald under an enterprising ride from Jim Culloty last year.

Knight said: "Last year he rather surprised them and I don't think they will let him get away this time.

"He's taking on a lot of very, very good horses - I think very highly of Azertyuiop and Seebald is very good too.

"I think the ground will be good, which will be in his favour. He's dropping down in trip, but it's more like two-miles-three there with the stiff hill. He's very well and he has a sporting chance."

CAPTION(S):

Edredon Bleu: beat the reopposing Seebald by ten lengths in this race last year under an enterprising Jim Culloty ride
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2003
Words:300
Previous Article:Pricewise: Edredon value at 4-1 to expose any chink in favourite's armour.
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