Alner going for Gold

Robert Alner is happy with his two totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup contenders, Kingscliff and Sir Rembrandt, with the big race just three weeks away.

Kingscliff is generally available at around 8-1 and unbeaten in two races at Prestbury Park, although he has yet to take part in the blue riband having being forced to miss the last two runnings.

Sir Rembrandt, placed in the last two Gold Cups, is a best-priced 33-1 and was third to Ossmoses in the Red Square Gold cup at Haydock last Saturday.

Alner has ruled out the possibility of equipping Kingscliff with headgear following his latest start when he was second to Ebony Light in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.

“It has been mentioned. We put them on Sir Rembrandt once with no effect at all. We don’t think he will be improved by them at all,” the Dorset trainer told williamhillradio.com.

“He’s genuine enough and if he’s right he won’t need a visor, blinkers or anything else.

“He’s run well at Cheltenham before, winning twice. He’s in good form and I’m optimistic he’ll run well.”

On the Haydock race, Alner added: “I don’t like making excuses. It was extremely sticky down the back straight, but he did run well up the home straight on the better ground.”

Of Sir Rembrandt, Alner said: “He’ll be going to the Festival this time having run better previous to Cheltenham than in the past.

“We weredelighted with him at Haydock last week. He jumped well, was giving weight away and has come out of the race well.

“I always said he’s a spring horse and comes right this time of the year. I’d be hoping for a good run from him.

“He goes on any ground – it was pretty sticky at Haydock and yet last year in the Gold Cup it was on the faster side and he coped quite well with it.

“Now we’ve had some rain I’d be thinking the ground will be at least good and that will suit him well.

“As for the John Smith’s Grand National, we are going to get the Gold Cup out of the way first.

“We are focusing on one race at a time and that’s the Gold Cup at the present time.”

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