Irish duo lead Ces charge
Leading Irish fancies Admiral Barry and Universal Truth feature among a final field of 32 runners in the totesport.com Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday.
Eoin Griffin's Admiral Barry lines up on the back of a runaway victory at the Curragh, while Universal Truth was last seen winning over hurdles at the Galway Festival.
The latter's trainer Dermot Weld also saddles Majestic Concorde, while one of major contenders for the British team is Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux, the mount of Johnny Murtagh.
The Gary Moore-trained Bergo tops the weights, while Nicky Henderson - who was successful with Landing Light in 2003 and veteran Caracciola two years ago - is represented by Sentry Duty.
Other principals include My Arch, Oceans Minstrel, Precision Break and Hawk Mountain.
Dunlop may have withdrawn Snow Fairy and Native Khan from their respective races on Saturday, but Red Cadeaux remains firmly on target.
"This has been the long-term plan," said the Newmarket handler.
"We've decided to put a pair of blinkers on him, not for any other reason than to make him concentrate.
"Johnny rode him in the Cesarewitch Trial and just felt that he looked about a bit when he came to win his race.
"Walking in, Johnny was very keen to ride him in the Cesarewitch and very keen to put the blinkers on.
"It's a drizzly day here today, it will put a bit of moisture back in the ground because it has been dry here for a few days.
"I don't want it soft because of the stamina issue, if it was very soft it might stretch him a little bit.
"He's in good form, we are very happy," he told At The Races.
Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies certainly has his National Hunt string in fine fettle and is represented in this competitive Flat handicap by Kayf Aramis.
The eight-year-old was ultimately well beaten over this course and distance a month ago but as that was his first start since April, his trainer is expecting considerable improvement.
"It wasn't a bad run at all at Newmarket last time and he will definitely improve for that," said the Naunton handler.
"We could do with a bit of rain as the wetter it gets the better for him, but he's in good shape.
"I'm certainly hopeful he will run a good race if the ground is all right."