Alary heads Marsh hopefuls

Colin Tizzard could find out if he has a fourth contender for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup when Alary runs in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Bristol De Mai: Takes on Alary at Haydock

Tizzard's Thistlecrack and Native River dominate the Gold Cup betting after wins in the King George VI Chase and Welsh National respectively over Christmas, while veteran stablemate Cue Card was confirmed as a likely runner in the Cheltenham Festival highlight by owner Jean Bishop this week.

Alary is owned by Ann and Alan Potts and he runs in their green, yellow and red colours for the first time this weekend after being purchased from France, where he was placed in a couple of Grade One contests last year.

The BHA handicapper is taking no chances following Tizzard's upbeat bulletins about his homework in recent weeks, allotting him a British rating of 162.

That gives him a tough task on his debut in this country, but he remains the 100/30 favourite with Sky Bet ahead of Definitly Red at 4/1 and Bristol De Mai at 9/2.

Definitly Red comes into the race on the back of an impressive win in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day where he had Nigel Twiston-Davies' Blaklion behind.

Twiston-Davies takes him on this time with Bristol De Mai, who finished ahead of Definitly Red in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on November 26, a race in which Otago Trail, who represents Venetia Williams in the Peter Marsh, was victorious.

The Sue Smith-trained Wakanda was behind in the Rehearsal Chase and the Rowland Meyrick, but she is represented by Vintage Clouds this time, a novice that has been second on all three chasing starts this campaign.

Sausalito Sunrise is the horse closest to Alary in the weights and he represents Philip Hobbs, while Paul Nicholls relies on Virak, who will be ridden by Harry Cobden.

Cobden's presence on Virak allows Sam Twiston-Davies to take the mount on Kerry Lee's Bishops Road.

Newbury winner O'Maonlai has had a mini break since his win in Berkshire but he's back for Adrian Heskin and Tom George.

Seventh Sky, Firebird Flyer, Katenko, Gevrey Chambertin and Berea Boru complete the field.

Read More at Sporting Life

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