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King expects better from Collonges at Doncaster

Alan King is expecting a better showing from Nenuphar Collonges in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday.

The eight-year-old won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle two seasons ago and was beaten less than a length in the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham last year.

He has failed to cut much ice so far this season but with King's string back to form in recent days and after a bit of respite from the handicapper, a big run could be in the offing.

"We've definitely turned the corner. We've got over the problem that we had before Christmas," said King.

"We've had one or two where their trachea washes still weren't clear but that can happen at any time. At least I can deal with that.

"They are definitely coming so we'll just keep our heads down and bat away quietly.

"It looks a slightly better race for him and I think the track should suit. He might be well handicapped and this might be more his grade. In the Hennessy they just went too quick for him and got him at it.


"Hopefully he can get into a bit of a rhythm on Saturday and he can go from there."

Henry Daly is likely to decide tomorrow whether to run Alderburn or wait for the four-mile bluesquare.com Handicap Chase, also at Doncaster, the following Saturday.

Should Alderburn turn up this weekend he would meet top-weight Calgary Bay on 10lb better terms for a seven-length beating over the course and distance last month.

"He could run on Saturday although he might wait for the four-miler the following week," said the Shropshire trainer. "I'll make my mind up in the morning.

"There's a bit of a difference in the weights now with Calgary Bay."

Trainer David Pipe reports Seven Is My Number in fine shape as the novice could bid to make it six wins from seven starts this season. The eight-year-old, owned by David Johnson, also holds an entry in the Betfair Trophy Chase at Cheltenham the same day.

"He's in the big race at Doncaster on Saturday and he's entered at Cheltenham as well. We'll just keep an eye on the weather," Pipe said. "But I think the intention is to go to Doncaster.

"He's an improving horse. He's had his problems, but he's won a lot of races this season and he does a lot of his work in the swimming pool. This is the clearest run we've had with him."