Rain good news for triply-engaged Top Gamble

Top Gamble's prospects for the weekend have improved on account of rain

PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Rain good news for triply-entered Top Gamble By Keith Melrose 10:22AM 9 NOV 2016

THE rain that has fallen over the UK and Ireland in the last 24 hours is good news for Kerry Lee, whose mud-loving stable star Top Gamble could take up one of three possible engagements at the weekend.

Cheltenham received 18mm of rain overnight, higher than the expected 11mm, while other tracks were similarly drenched.

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Ayr, Bangor and Exeter, where racing will take place on Wednesday, received 15mm, 16mm and 11mm respetively. Ludlow, where racing takes place on Thursday, took 25mm.

Despite the dry autumn overall, the deluge has been enough to turn one course watrerlogged in places, which Hexham are reporting a week ahead of their next fixture.

Top Gamble, the winner of two Grade 2 chases last season, including Newbury’s Game Spirit Chase in which he demolished Dodging Bullets by ten lengths, has two entries at Cheltenham – Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup and Sunday’s Shloer Chase – plus Navan’s thetote.com Fortria Chase on Sunday.

"If it rains I'm favouring the Shloer Chase over the BetVictor," Lee said on Tuesday. "I’m also looking at the Navan race, but it would need to rain there too. Top Gamble is at his best at two miles on soft ground, so we’ll have to see what the weather does. He’s in great order and ready to run."

Cross-country chase postponed

The rain that fell in Gloucestershire has not been enough to save the cross-country chase that was scheduled to take place on Friday.

It was announced on Wednesday morning that the race will now take place in January. The six races that remain will begin with the veterans' handicap chase at 12.55. The Hyde Novices' Hurdle, which had been due to start the card, will now be run at 2.40.

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