Racing: Cherrykino 25-1 for Gold

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The Independent Online
IF CHERRYKINO lines up for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, his burden will be more than just the 12st alloted by the race conditions. As the last surviving active relative of Arkle, the weight of nostalgics' expectation will be crippling, and after his success at Wincanton yesterday he seems sure to be carrying their money too.

Cherrykino's win in the Racing In Wessex Chase, by two lengths from Bradbury Star and Garrison Savannah, was workmanlike, but showed resolution as he had to survive a bad mistake early on. He is now a top price of 25-1 (from 40-1) with William Hill for the race which his ancestor won three times.

'I've been waiting some time for a top-class horse, and this is it,' Hywel Davies, Cherrykino's jockey, said. 'I've not had the same feeling since the days I rode Barnbrook Again. The Cheltenham trip, and that final hill, will suit him.'

Tim Forster, the winning trainer, is not one to talk a horse up, and commented: 'He still has a lot to prove and has it all to do on the book, but he is improving rapidly.' However, the very fact that Cherrykino is entered for the Gold Cup at all betrays a good measure of optimism on Forster's part.