Racing: Drift in betting suggests downpour is bad for Business
Friday 24 December 1999
See More Business, last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, was one of 12 declarations made yesterday for the highlight of the Christmas racing programme. Although he has won on an easy surface, and was thought to prefer some cut earlier in his career, his trainer, Paul Nicholls, believes that the nine-year-old is now better on the good ground on which he won at the Festival.
There were no defections at the final stage and the prospect of Ireland's Dorans Pride taking his chance have improved. He had looked likely to stay at home for Leopardstown's Ericsson Chase on Tuesday.
Michael Hourigan's charge will fly from Shannon to Luton on Sunday afternoon on a flight arranged by Kempton Park.
"At the moment the King George is the target," Hourigan said. "We will keep him in the Ericsson just in case."
Although there is no racing in Britain until Monday's 10-meeting feast, Ireland gets back on track a day earlier with a competitive card at Leopardstown featuring the leading novice chaser Alexander Banquet in the Grade One Denny's Gold Medal Chase, where he will be taken on by other leading Cheltenham prospects in Quinze and Grimes.
The Denny Juvenile Hurdle, in which the Aidan O'Brien-trained and much- touted Yeoman's Point will attempt to make up for his hurdling-debut defeat, should provide a useful guide to the Triumph Hurdle. Noel Meade's triple winner Fable and Eddie O'Grady's Wild Arms provide stern opposition.
Sunday's scheduled card at Cork has been abandoned due to waterlogging and has been rescheduled for Tuesday.
n Tim Sprake is reported to be making "steady, slow progress" in hospital in Basingstoke. The jockey has been unconscious since suffering head injuries in a car accident on 13 December.
Monday's Independent will carry cards and tips for all 10 of the day's meetings
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