Racing: Senor El Betrutti waits on weather

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The Independent Online
Rain could be the bar to Senor El Betrutti running in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, Susan Nock, the grey's trainer, said yesterday.

Senor El Betrutti had been due to go to post for the Kempton race following wins in the Murphy's Gold Cup and Tripleprint Gold Cup, both at Cheltenham. However, Mrs Nock describes the grey as being "hopeless" on soft going, and over the festive season the permit holder's household will be watching the weather.

"Senor El Betrutti is absolutely jumping out of his skin'' she said. "But now we've got the rain. He just can't run in the soft - hopeless, he'd rather run on the M25."

Ridden by Graham Bradley, the eight-year-old ran his best race so far at Cheltenham last Saturday, a display which convinced connections he was good enough for the King George.

Nock added: "He loved it, the race suited him. He was allowed to dominate and the race hasn't taken anything out of him. We decided then he was entitled to run in the King George. So if he's well and the ground is right he'll go to Kempton. If we can try for a race like that without harming him then why not? The only thing that could harm him would be the ground because soft ground turns him into an old dog."

A new jockey would be needed for Senor El Betrutti with Bradley booked to ride Suny Bay for Charlie Brooks.

Terry Casey will make a decision this morning on Rough Quest's participation in the King George. The trainer said there was a "distinct possibility" that Rough Quest would make the line-up.

Casey said yesterday: "He had a nice canter this morning and we'll see how he is tomorrow. He will have a nice swinging canter and it depends how he feels as to what we decide. He's in excellent shape. He's eaten up well but he just lost a little bit of weight at Haydock."

Casey said if Rough Quest did run at Kempton he expected Mick Fitzgerald to ride

Rough Quest, 8-1 from 10-1, and Suny Bay, 5-2 from 100-30, have been backed for the race with Coral.

Coral: Evens One Man, 5-2 Suny Bay, 9-2 Barton Bank, 8-1 Rough Quest , 12-1 Senor El Betrutti, 25-1 bar.

William Hill: 4-5 One Man, 11-4 Suny Bay, 4-1 Barton Bank, 10-1 Rough Quest 12-1 Senor El Betrutti, 20-1 Challenger Du Luc, Djeddah, See More Business, 50-1 bar.

Waterlogging caused today's meeting at Hexham to be abandoned following an inspection at 5pm yesterday.