Racing: Stanners places trust in Leader

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TED STANNERS, who has held a licence for just seven weeks, gets immediate promotion to the major league when Dawn Leader tackles Saturday's pounds 80,000 Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham. The eight-year-old, owned by the race sponsor, had some good form when trained by Jim Old and ended last season with a third to Flagship Uberalles at Aintree.

Stanners who has a team of 21 at Compton, Berkshire, said: "Dawn Leader is the best horse I have. He is good enough to go with them in two-mile races, but he does not have that finishing kick over the trip. I think the longer [Tripleprint] distance suits him better."

Martin Pipe has left in four horses, headed by the top-weight Majadou - only eighth in the Murphy's Gold Cup at the same course last month. He also has last year's winner, Northern Starlight, Tresor De Mai and Royal Predica among the 18 horses declared at the five-day stage for the race.

The Philip Hobbs-trained Stormy Passage, second in the Murphy's, is now 8lb worse off with Majadou. "I was very pleased with him in the Murphy's," Hobbs said. "If he reproduces that he will obviously have a good chance. Andrew Thornton, who was on board last time, will take the ride."


Nap: High Mood

(Sedgefield 2.55)

NB: Impertio

(Sedgefield 12.25)