Racing: Ground holds firm

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The Independent Online
COOL GROUND'S expected participation in Saturday's pounds 30,000 SGB Chase at Ascot is threatening to wreck the race as a competitive contest. Only five of the 13 horses standing their ground at yesterday's entry stage will race off their correct handicap mark if the Gold Cup winner runs.

One of the main beneficiaries is Cool Ground's stable-mate Romany King, who is set to carry a handy 10st 7lb. But Jonathan Geake, assistant to Cool Ground's trainer Toby Balding, denied that the top weight was being left in simply to prevent the weights rising. 'Both horses run and they both run with a chance,' he said.

Of the three others in the handicap proper, Miinnehoma and Captain Dibble are expected to miss the race, with the Welsh National a possible alternative for both.

SGB ENTRIES: Cool Ground 12st 0lb, Miinnehoma 10st 8lb, Romany King 10st 7lb, Captain Dibble 10st 1lb, Kildimo 10st, Rowlandsons Jewels 9st 10lb, Gambling Royal 9st 7lb, Multum In Parvo 9st 7lb, Zeta's Lad 9st 3lb, Karakter Reference 9st 3lb, Southerly Buster 9st, Parsons Green 8st 13lb, Country Member 8st 10lb.