Favourite St Michel not certain to make Cesarewitch cut

Sir Mark Prescott: Waiting to see if St Michel makes the field

PICTURE: Getty Images Handicap blot St Michel not certain to make cut By Bruce Jackson 9:07AM 4 OCT 2016

ALL the talk about Saturday's Betfred Cesarewitch has centred on the handicap snip and 6-1 ante-post favourite St Michel, but Sir Mark Prescott's three-year-old is still not certain of getting a run in the
34-strong field.

Connections of St Michel, officially 15lb well-in after being raised to a rating of 112 following his third in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup last month, are sweating along with backers of last year's winner Grumeti over making the race, with a couple more defectors needed for both horses to get in.

Tony Martin looks set to come to their aid with two of his four remaining possibles, both above Grumeti and St Michel in the weights, more likely to run in the Irish Cesarewitch on Sunday.

David Pipe has no such worries about his two runners Starchitect, the 8-1 second favourite, and Ennistown, who showed his wellbeing with a hurdles win at Cartmel in August.

The Pond House team have again called on Ryan Moore, who rode 2002 winner Miss Fara, to partner Ennistown, while Jamie Spencer has been booked for Starchitect.

Pipe said: "The plan was to run Starchitect at Royal Ascot but he got balloted out there and was given a holiday. He went to Kempton for a gallop last week and is in good form. He seems to stay well and I'm hoping he's open to more improvement – he's going to need to be if St Michel runs; you could give him the race now, couldn't you?"

Pipe added: "Ennistown's probably not well handicapped but, saying that, he's never tried extreme distances on the Flat. He got three miles one [furlong] well at Cartmel over hurdles and settles better these days having been keen when he first came to us."

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