Racing: Casey wishing for a wet Christmas for Rough Quest

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The Independent Online
Rain needs to arrive in quantity to ensure the participation of Rough Quest and See More Business in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

Terry Casey, who trains Rough Quest, said yesterday that last year's Grand National winner had worked "superbly" in the morning as he completed his build-up for the Kempton race.

"Rough Quest worked very well - he worked superbly," the trainer said. "But it would have to be soft ground for him to run. I see in the paper today that they are calling it good to soft with good patches and that wouldn't be soft enough.''

Paul Nicholls, trainer of See More Business, has booked Andrew Thornton for the ride in the King George, but would also like deeper ground.

The official advance going issued from Kempton yesterday was ``Good to Soft''. Final declarations for the race will be made this morning.

Nicholls is more certain about running What A Hand in the Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday and the nine-year-old's chance has been improved by the booking of Richard Dunwoody.

The former champion will be bidding to repeat his 1993 victory in the Chepstow race on Riverside Boy. Nicholls said: "It is a very competitive race with a lot with good chances but What A Hand would have to be a leading fancy."

Stable jockey Timmy Murphy is currently sidelined by suspension, so Nicholls is still seeking a rider for Belmont King, the yard's other intended runner in the Welsh National.

Newton Abbot, where the ground is already heavy, is to be inspected at noon tomorrow to determine prospects for the track's Boxing Day card.