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Dark camp consider Ascot prize

Sabrina Harty is keeping her fingers crossed conditions allow Won In The Dark to make his seasonal reappearance in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

Connections of the six-year-old are keen on a crack at the Grade Two contest over just under two and a half miles, but soft ground could scupper his participation.

"The owners are very keen to go and we are looking for nice ground if we can get it," said the County Kildare trainer.

"He's a stronger horse this season and it's been harder to get the condition off him. He had a long break. He had a lot of trouble with his allergies last year, but it's all good now and hopefully he's back on track.

"The trip seems to suit him. He should have been third at Aintree only he tangled up when Ruby (Walsh) fell (from Celestial Halo). He had to go all the way round him and was only beaten a short head for third.

"It looks like he's going to go but there is a fair bit of rain forecast. Maybe it won't materialise. The flat track will suit him, so I just hope we'll get some decent ground."

Connections of Zaynar hope the grey can repeat last year's victory in the race on the way to bigger things this season.

Bookmaker and co-owner Victor Chandler said: "Zaynar is bigger and stronger this season, and we are also hoping he is a fair bit better. He is on target for Ascot and we would be more than hopeful he can repeat last season's victory in the race.

"Plans are fluid, but we would perhaps follow a similar route to last season, with the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham in December again on his agenda before we look for another prep race ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

"Zaynar's main aim this season will be the World Hurdle, where we believe the step up to three miles will suit him very well. Big Buck's is going to be a tough nut to crack, but the hope is that Zaynar will make steady progress and give him all he can handle at Cheltenham."


From Belfast Telegraph