Cloudy set for dream run

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT ON SUNDAY -

CLOUDY DREAM can make a suc­cess­ful start to the new cam­paign in the Monet’s Gar­den Old Roan Chase at Ain­tree.

The eight-year-old has been a fine ser­vant to owner Trevor Hem­mings, ply­ing his trade at the top level for the past cou­ple of sea­sons un­der the tute­lage of the late Mal­colm Jef­fer­son and then his daugh­ter, Ruth.

The grey has be­come some­thing of a nearly horse, with his 13 chase starts yield­ing only three vic­to­ries.

How­ever, he has filled the run­nerup spot on no less than eight oc­ca­sions and has been un­for­tu­nate enough to chase home Cham­pion Chaser Al­tior, his Cham­pion Hur­dlewin­ning sta­ble­mate Bu­veur D’Air and a Gold Cup hero in Na­tive River.

Cloudy Dream has fin­ished sec­ond on each of his three pre­vi­ous vis­its to Ain­tree, in­clud­ing when nar­rowly de­nied beaten by Smad Place in this race a year ago, and he will surely ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing back on de­cent ground, hav­ing spent much of last sea­son slog­ging through test­ing con­di­tions.

He makes his first start since join­ing Don­ald McCain this week­end and pro­vid­ing he is fit enough to do him­self jus­tice, the strong-trav­el­ling geld­ing should prove hard to beat.

Poly­dora is of sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in the Merseyrail Chase.

Tom Lacey’s in­mate won at Chep­stow and Ex­eter over hur­dles last sea­son and rounded off his cam­paign by fill­ing the run­ner-up spot here in May.

That form looks wa­ter­tight with the win­ner, Black Sam Bella, sub­se­quently bolt­ing up at War­wick and the third, Sky Pi­rate, scor­ing on his next start at Worces­ter.

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