Gold Cup dark horse Alary to put credentials to test

Colin Tizzard:

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Alary to put credentials to the test in Peter Marsh By Lee Mottershead 10:05AM 21 JAN 2017

MANY of the trainers represented in Saturday's Peter Marsh Chase believe the race revolves around whether Alary truly is a horse worthy of being considered a proper Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup contender.

So, too, you sense, does Alary's trainer.

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Colin Tizzard approaches the British debut of his exciting French import, bought for presumably big money by Ann and Alan Potts, as much in the dark as everyone else.

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On his most recent outing Alary finished a close second to Milord Thomas in Auteuil's Prix la Haye Jousselin, the second most important chase in France. That effort earned the seven-year-old a Racing Post Rating of 158. He runs on Saturday afternoon off a BHA mark of 162.

Alary is a best price of 25-1 for the Gold Cup, and only three British-trained hopefuls are above him in the market. They are the odds-on Thistlecrack – due to appear at Cheltenham next week – Native River and Cue Card. Like Alary, they are all trained by Tizzard.

Colin Tizzard said: "I think it's a very big question we're asking him but it's either run in this or ask him to take on Thistlecrack, Native River or Cue Card in a conditions race.

"We're on a learning curve with him but he works nicely and has schooled well. I'm looking forward to it."

Gold Cup entries

Gold Cup entries are also held by the next two horses in the Peter Marsh weights, Sausalito Sunrise and Bristol De Mai. The latter could well challenge Alary for favouritism in this race, but so could Definitly Red, who was so impressive when winning the Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day.

Anthony Bromley, racing manager to Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, owners of Bristol de Mai, said: "This is a bit of a fact-finding mission to see if we stick at three miles or go back in trip with him.

"I know Nigel Twiston-Davies is happy with the horse and we've always thought he was up to this level."

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