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Sunday 4 December 2016

Weld ace up for the Cup

Published 05/05/2015 | 16:11

Zafayan (purple and yellow silks)
Zafayan (purple and yellow silks)

Dermot Weld likes to have a runner in the Betway Chester Cup and saddles the dual-purpose performer Zafayan in Wednesday marathon test.

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Weld wanted to run the four-year-old at Cheltenham, but he failed to make the cut so he ran on the Flat at Leopardstown and won easily.

"Ansar was beaten a short head in it a few years ago (2000) before he won a couple of Galway Hurdles and he's a interesting runner," said Weld.

"He's drawn seven and has a nice weight, 8st 10lb, so we'll see.

"I've been looking at this for a while. He got balloted out of the Fred Winter and he won nicely at Leopardstown so could represent us well."

Marco Botti admits Ryan Moore is going to have to weave his magic from stall 16 if Suegioo is to repeat his victory of 12 months ago.

One of five runners for owner Dr Marwan Koukash, the six-year-old is 9lb higher than last year, when he came late to beat Angel Gabrial, another Koukash runner who also tries his luck again.

The two subsequently fought out the finish of the Northumberland Plate and came up against each other on their first outing of the season at Ripon recently, but both were put in their place by Fattsota over a mile and a half.

"I think it's going to be tough to win from that draw but he's going there in the same form as last year," said Botti.

"He ran well at Ripon on his comeback over a mile and a half which is too short for him, but he's higher in the weights and with the draw it will be tough.

"We'll have to hope for some magic from Ryan, but if anybody can do it he can.

"I'm very happy with him, and we'll just have to live with the draw."

Richard Fahey runs four, all owned by Koukash.

Angel Gabrial has top weight, Duke Of Clarence has been drawn widest of all, Gabrial's Star has been running well on the all-weather while Gabrial's King chased home Trip To Paris at Ripon recently.

"Angel Gabrial has a good draw but has a lot on his plate with that weight," said Fahey.

"Duke Of Clarence has some very good form to his name against Arab Spring but unfortunately he has the coffin box draw (19).

"Marwan was mad to get Gabrial's Star into the race, he's managed it, so we'll see how he gets on.

"I was delighted with Gabrial's King at Ripon, that run should have put him spot on so we'll see how they all do."

Andrew Balding's Mymatechris was a winner on All-Weather Finals Day but the Kingsclere handler sees no reason why he should not be as effective back on turf.

However, Balding would be concerned if the ground turned very soft.

"He's been very progressive on the all-weather, he started off rated 69 and is now 103," said Balding.

"I don't see why he should not be equally as effective on grass. However, my concern would be if it went very soft as he has a win on firm ground at Bath to his name.

"He's had a good winter and he possesses a good turn of foot so Chester should suit."

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