Trainer Gary Moore is more than happy about the weight the well-backed Kloud Gate will carry in Saturday’s Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle but said the gelding faces his biggest task to date over hurdles.
The seven-year-old, a useful performer both on the Flat and over hurdles, has been supported into general 100-30 favouritism for the Listed contest, from as big as 8-1 on Monday, and will be bidding to continue his trainer’s fine run of form.
Kempton took the unusual decision on Thursday to add 5mm of water to the chase course to maintain the going after a dry spell. The ground on Thursday afternoon was good with water applied from the 2m4½f start to the second last fence in the home straight.
Kloud Gate is unbeaten in two starts this season, including when a seven-length winner at Doncaster last month, and finished second to the classy Stratum in the JLT Cup on the Flat.
Moore said: “He’s gone up a fair way in the handicap. He’s got a nice racing weight but Saturday will tell us whether he’s up to the standard or not. He’s won two very bad races.
“He was a good Flat horse, but he was jarred up in the Cesarewitch and needed a break. He’s just an all-round good horse, he’s a delight to train.”
Paul Nicholls, who most recently won the race in 2017 with Modus, saddles the consistent Darling Maltaix who was last seen winning at Ascot.
Nicky Henderson, who won the race last season with William Henry, runs Doux Pretender, while Dan Skelton is double handed with Theatrebar and Solomon Grey.
At Warwick, last year’s winning runner Milansbar will be out to add a second McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase.
The Neil King-trained 12-year-old, who finished fifth in the Randox Health Grand National in April, is one of 13 declarations for the Grade 3 contest. Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Un Temps Pour Tout heads the weights at 11st 12lb for the 3m5f contest.
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