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Racing: Genelardais expected to go well on soft ground; Wetherby briefing.

2.20 River Don Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2, 3m1f)

Notable runners

Neptune Collonges, runner-up in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Chepstow last time, attempts to regain the winning thread at this slightly lower level. L'Antartique, considered a Royal & SunAlliance possible by connections, bids to follow up a 15-length victory at Doncaster. Supreme's Legacy takes a huge leap in class after taking a maiden on this course last month, while stable companion Ungaro, whose first preference is the Totescoop6 Hurdle at Sandown, appears to hold Ask The Gatherer on their form in the Challow Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Quotes

Paul Nicholls, trainer of Neptune Collonges

"Three miles on soft ground round Wetherby in a novice hurdle should be an ideal race for him."

Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer of Rimsky

"We have been running out of races to run him in. He went down to two miles in one of the races he disappointed in, and the longer trip should suit him better."

Mark Pitman, trainer of Ask The Gatherer

"He is a nice horse, who won his first two races and then took on Denman last time and wasn't beaten far behind the others."

Ferdy Murphy, trainer of L'Antartique

"This race should tell us a lot more about his prospects. Soft ground will be no problem for him, but he won on good at Doncaster last time, so we're not worried what the weather does."

Keith Reveley, trainer of Supreme's Legacy

"We know he likes the course, though we're taking on some good horses here, so we're no more than hopeful of a decent run. He's a nice horse, who should stay the trip well enough."

2.50 0-150 handicap chase (2m41/2f)

Notable runners

Progressive chaser Schuh Shine gained his sixth win in 12 months at Haydock four weeks ago but has been put up another 7lb and is 30lb higher in the weights than when his winning run began. Wain Mountain retains the blinkers in which he ended four years without a win at Lingfield last month, while Halexy might also be coming here on the back of a win had he not fallen two out in the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree. Better Days ran his best race for a long time when second at Carlisle last month, but reopposes third-placed Claymore and the fifth home Edmo Yewkay on 4lb worse terms.

Quotes

Paul Webber, trainer of The Last Cast

"I have had him about three months and he has worked nicely and schooled well. He is not a very big horse and 11st 12lb will seem an awful lot of weight."

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Non So

"Two and a half miles on soft ground should suit and we would hope for a good run from him." Venetia Williams, trainer of Schuh Shine "He has been running well and let's hope he can keep it up."

Oliver Sherwood, trainer of Claymore

"He's been very consistent and is very well. I don't think he got home in the very heavy ground at Carlisle. I hope this flatter track will help."

Tim Easterby, trainer of Edmo Yewkay

"He is in good form. He likes the ground and he likes the track so he should run well."

Barry Simpson, racing manager to Halexy's owner Sir Robert Ogden

"There is a good race to be won with Halexy but I don't know when it will be. He is in good form and we are very hopeful."

Jim Old, trainer of Wain Mountain

"It was wonderful when he won at Lingfield. The blinkers helped but it was a race he could have probably won anyway as it was a soft race, it was his best trip, the ground was right and he was the best we had had him for years. It is not likely to be as soft today, but he seems just as well."

Sue Smith, trainer of Better Days

"He seems in good form and ran a cracking race at Carlisle last time. We are hoping for the best."

3.25 Grade 2 novice chase (3m1f)

Notable runners

All five runners here are entered in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase with Rebel Rhythm also in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He could manage only third behind impressive chasing debutant Halcon Genelardais at Warwick last time but is 11lb better off at these weights. Winning point-to-pointer Preacher Boy is unbeaten in two runs to date in chases at Wincanton, while ex-French gelding Mort de Rire made a successful start to his British career at Leicester last month.

Quotes

Alan King, trainer of Halcon Genelardais

"I would hope his prospects are very good. The ground will suit - he's very much a soft-ground horse."

Robert Alner, trainer of Mort de Rire

"He surprised us at Leicester as I didn't think he was that good. He did that nicely but he has to have soft ground."

Ron Hodges, trainer of Preacher Boy

"He has done very well and he should do better going the other way round - he hung badly left at Wincanton."

Sue Smith, trainer of Rebel Rhythm

"I think his last outing may have come a bit quick after his Christmas run and possibly the track was on the quick side for him."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2006
Words:874
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