Lancelot set for Pretend clash

Lancelot Du Lac is on course for a clash with Pretend in the £45,000 Listed Betway Best Odds Guaranteed Plus Cleves Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.

Lancelot Du Lac: Back up to six furlongs on Saturday

Dean Ivory's horse is returning to six furlongs, having produced a fine weight-carrying performance under regular rider Robert Winston to win a five-furlong handicap at Chelmsford last time, his first start since July.

The seven-year-old has won six of his 12 starts on artificial surfaces and was runner-up to Alben Star in the £150,000 All-Weather Sprint Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday last year.

Ivory, who trains at Radlett in Hertfordshire, said: "Lancelot Du Lac is very well. He won very convincingly at Chelmsford as we know. He had been off for a while before that but I wouldn't say he needed the run.

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"It looks a hard race on Saturday. You could almost say it is the final given the quality and depth in there. A lot of will depend on the draw I would think. It could be the deciding the factor and, as we know, you need a bit of luck in the run around Lingfield.

"I am aiming for Good Friday. The idea after this is to go for the Betway Hever Stakes [Lingfield, February 25] after this, which will be his third qualifying run, and then on to Finals Day.

"He could have another run somewhere as there is a nice gap between the Hever and the final. I will have to have a look as there are not too many races for a horse like him. We will let the horse tell us if he needs another outing."

Godolphin's Pretend, trained by Charlie Appleby, is the highest-rated entry with a mark of 111, and looked as good as ever when successful on his comeback in a six-furlong conditions race at Kempton.

Other entries include the David Evans-trained Gracious John, Kevin Ryan's Ashadihan and progressive six-year-old Boom The Groom for Tony Carroll.

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