Tate's testing time

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Tom Tate hopes a blood test on Thursday will reveal the reason for Lo Stregone's dismal display in Saturday's Greenalls Grand National Trial in which the 4-5 favourite trailed in last of five.

"Lo Stregone seems okay," Tate said. "He's eaten up and looks bright but I suspect he's sickening for something."

Tate is hopeful that Lo Stregone will recover in time to tackle the Grand National, which he missed last year due to flu. "Maybe our luck will go the other way this time. The connections feel miffed about Saturday but Lo Stregone himself has still got four legs, a head and a tail."

Tate is concerned that his Queen Mother Champion Chase contender, Ask Tom, might catch whatever is ailing his stable-companion. "Ask Tom is fine but his box isn't far away from Lo Stregone's. It's like an office and bugs do go round, although they have different levels of severity on different horses. I'm very much looking forward to him running at Cheltenham and we would be very unlucky if he were to catch something just beforehand."

n Captain Miles Gosling, a former chairman of Cheltenham racecourse and a former deputy senior steward of the Jockey Club, has died following a long illness, he was 69.