Pallasator primed for Doncaster
Last year's winner Pallasator is one of 17 entries for the 250th Doncaster Cup on Friday.
Pallasator (centre) could defend his crown at Doncaster
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained seven-year-old has been in good heart of late, finishing second in the Goodwood Cup and most latterly the Lonsdale Cup at York. He could be joined by improving stablemate St Michel.
Clondaw Warrior, second 12 months ago, is set to try again for Willie Mullins having won the Galway Hurdle this season and coming off the back of a fine run to find only one too good in the American St Leger.
Mullins has also entered Wicklow Brave, who occupied third in the Lonsdale Cup won by Roger Charlton's Quest For More, another in line for the Town Moor showpiece.
Ralph Beckett's Simple Verse, winner of last year's St Leger, is an eyecatching entrant, and staying regulars Clever Cookie and former Gold Cup hero Trip To Paris have also been given the engagement.
Yorkshire handler Peter Niven is hoping Clever Cookie can bounce back to his best after below par fifth behindQuest For More in the Lonsdale Cup at York last month.
The popular eight-year-old recorded the biggest victory of his career at York in May when he got the better of Curbyourenthusiasm by a half-length in the Yorkshire Cup.
In between his two York runs, he was seventh behind Order Of St George in the Ascot Gold Cup. Clever Cookie finished fourth to Estimate in the 2014 Doncaster Cup and was successful on his only other previous visit to Doncaster when landing a 12-furlong maiden in April, 2014.
Niven, who is based at Barton Le Street near Malton, said: "I am keen on sending Clever Cookie for the Doncaster Cup.
"Obviously, Doncaster is a drying track and we will have to keep an eye on the ground as I know they are forecast some rain. He also has an entry in the Irish St Leger so we will see.
"It was not good a run in the Lonsdale Cup but he has been fine since."
Sheikhzayedroad, third in both the Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup, represents David Simcock.
The going at Doncaster is currently still Good, Good to Firm in places
Roderick Duncan, Clerk of the Course at Doncaster, reported: "I was tempted earlier today to switch around the going description to Good to Firm, Good in places but the rain has arrived now.
"The forecast is for 10 millimetres of rain today, possibly a drop more. We will see what happens and I will update the going description tomorrow.
"We were originally forecast some rain tomorrow, but the probability of that has diminished.
"Conditions are still predicted to be dry from Monday onwards, with an increase in temperatures."
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