In-form The Outback Way is in the Pink

The trainer Venetia Williams is mulling over heroptions for The Outback Way following his excellent return to action in Italy over the weekend.

The trainer Venetia Williams is mulling over heroptions for The Outback Way following his excellent return to action in Italy over the weekend.

The gelding, the winner of the Murphy's Gold Cup at Cheltenham last season, finished an eight-length third behind Grey Jack in the 25-furlong Gran Premio Merano Forst on Sunday.

A return to Cheltenham for the latest incarnation of the Murphy's, the Thomas Pink Gold Cup, could be on the cards for the 10-year-old, who was today travelling back from Italy.

Miss Williams said: "I saw him after the race and he was fine and my travelling head lad has told me all is well.

"We were delighted with him, he was giving weight away to everything apart from Boca Boca. The Thomas Pink, which he won last year when it was the Murphy's, is an option.

"Another possibility is going back in distance for the Haldon Gold Cup but we've got quite a few options."

In the more immediatefuture the trainer has her sights set on the Flat whenMilligan runs in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on Saturday.

The gelding won for the trainer David Nicholls on his seasonal debut and was a good second at Kempton earlier this month on his second start for Williams.

"He's on course for the race," she added. "I think he'll go on most ground - it isn't important. He ran well last time and I hope for everyone's sake he gives us a good run."

John Gosden's Philantha and Geoff Wragg's Miss Riviera Golf will bid to secure a British win in the Listed Prix Coronation at Saint-Cloud today.

Philantha, a debut winner on her sole outing as a two-year-old at Newmarket, will beridden by Davy Bonilla, while Darryll Holland will partner Miss Riviera Golf.

Kevin Prendergast's Sand Partridge represents Ireland with Germany's Kirona the other foreign raider. Peony, second to Bluemamba in the Poule D'Eassai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) earlier in the season, heads the home defence.

Newcastle are confident that today's meeting can go ahead despite being hit by further heavy rain yesterday afternoon.

The clerk of the course, David McAllister, said: "We had five solid hours of rain, during which nine millimetres fell. But we have been out on the course and it is raceable at present, although it is as heavy as I have ever seen it at Newcastle.

"The forecast is for it to remain dry now in which case we would have no problems - there is no inspection planned. However, forecasts can be wrong. We were expecting strong winds now and instead it is perfectly still with thick fog."

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