Man jumps `like a bird' in public work-out

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One Man came through his final rehearsal for the Cheltenham Gold Cup a week today without fluffing his lines before a large audience at Carlisle racecourse yesterday.

The grey completed a satisfactory workout of jumping three fences and having a stiff work-out around the two-mile circuit under Richard Dunwoody. That delighted his trainer, Gordon Richards, but failed to impress Coral's representative, Rob Hartnett, who extended the grey's odds to 5-4 from 6-5.

"We weren't disappointed with his gallop but we weren't particularly impressed either," Hartnett said. "He got close to one fence and was outjumped at another so we have eased him.

"We also feel that the ground is going against Alderbrook in the Champion Hurdle and there is a question mark over the form of his Kempton win so we think he is only a 50-50 chance. He is now evens favourite from 10- 11."

Richards had a different view of One Man's exercise. "I'm very happy with his workout," the trainer said. "He came over the fences like a bird and does everything easy. It's the first time Richard has jumped with him since the King George and he was very pleased with him. I was pleased with him before I brought him here and I'm going home even more pleased.

"I'm not going to be over cocky or anything but if you take the favourite for the Gold Cup you've certainly got a very good chance, haven't you?"