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Lavelle aiming for top Castle.

EMMA LAVELLE believes Kilcrea Castle will relish the step back up to three miles in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton today.

The ex-Irish eight-year-old has been placed over that distance in his native land and made a pleasing British debut when third to The Sawyer over an extended two miles and five furlongs at Ascot five weeks ago.

"He's schooled well and his work has been good," said the Andover trainer.

"He seems much more settled now. It took him a long time to get acclimatised and he seems absolutely great now.

"He came out of his Ascot race well so we are looking forward to it.

"We think the Ascot run will have put him spot on and fingers crossed the step up three miles will help as well."

Madison Du Berlais will wear blinkers for the first time and his trainer David Pipe revealed it is something they have been considering for a while.

"He was a little bit disappointing last time, but it was at Cheltenham which it appears he doesn't like, but he's back at Kempton and he wears blinkers for the first time," said the Nicholashayne trainer.

"We've always felt that he would want blinkers at some stage. A noseband and cheekpieces brought out a lot of improvement and, if blinkers can do the same, then you never know."

Pipe also saddles Piraya, who faded from the second-last when seventh to Nacarat in the race last year but was a good winner at Warwick two weeks ago for which he has a 5lb penalty.

"Piraya goes there on the back of a win at Warwick last time," added Pipe.

Newcastle called off TODAY'S meeting at Newcastle, which was due to feature the totesport.com Eider Handicap Chase, has been abandoned as the course is waterlogged.

Officials were left with no alternative following a lunchtime inspection.

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BLINKERED: New headgear for Madison Du Berlais at Kempton
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 27, 2010
Words:322
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