Spell blessed by Cup weight

Warm Spell, the favourite for Saturday's Tote Gold Trophy, will sneak into the handicap proper thanks to a newly introduced clause in race conditions. Under old rules, he would be still 4lb out of a handicap headed by Moorish on 11st 10lb, but a new clause in Saturday's two-mile handicap hurdle stipulates that if no horse at 12st or above is declared at the overnight stage, the weights will be raised to 12st. That will bring Warm Spell up to the minimum 10st.

"Warm Spell is in pretty good form and I am very pleased with him," his trainer, Gary Moore said. "He hasn't been held up in his work. I would give Pridwell plenty of respect and they say Frickley has improved since we beat him at Kempton."

Tote Gold Tophy (Newbury, Saturday): Tote: 7-2 Warm Spell (from 3-1), 5-1 Express Gift (9-1), 13-2 Pridwell (6-1), 9-1 Frickley (8-1), 12-1 Cheryl's Lad (16-1), 12-1 Squire Silk, 12-1 (14-1) Thornton Lad, 14-1 others.