Martin banking on super Ted

Trainer Tony Martin admits only time will tell whether Ted Veale’s recent exertions have taken their toll ahead of his bid for his second win in the space of four days in this afternoon’s Betfred Ebor (3.50) at York.

Martin banking on super Ted

The Cheltenham Festival winner fluffed his lines when favourite for a Galway Hurdle run in bottomless ground, but had plenty to spare when striking on the level at Bellewstown on Wednesday.

Martin is hopeful the prospect of ease in the ground will not worry his charge.

He said: “We’ll check on him again to make sure he’s all right, but at the moment he’s an intended runner.

“His form is there for everyone to see. It was good to firm when he won at Bellewstown the other day and soft when he won the County Hurdle in Cheltenham.

Owner Henry Ponsonby believes the rain that lashed the Knavesmire on Thursday evening was an “enormous plus” for his runner, the Lady Cecil-trained Tiger Cliff.

He said: “The rain that has arrived is an enormous plus and the horse is in very good form, so we’re looking forward to it.

“He likes to get his toe in. I don’t think anyone wants a bog, but it will suit us better than some of the others that’s for sure.

“He’s getting weights from a few of his market rivals, he’s in very good nick and we’ve laid him out for the Ebor.

“On his form he’s got to be there or thereabouts.”

David Simcock launches a formidable three-pronged attack, with leading contender Sheikhzayedroad joined in the line-up by stable companions and lively outsiders No Heretic and Montaser.

Simcock said: “All three horses are going there in good form, but the rain would be a slight concern for all of them.

“Of the three, I think Sheikhzayedroad would probably cope best with softer ground.

“He has form in soft, but he would prefer it faster.

“He’s in good form and we’ve been aiming at this race with him for a long time.

“For the other two the ground would be a worry if it gets soft. Fingers crossed they don’t get any more rain.”

Leading owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing are represented by ante-post favourite Opinion and Guarantee.

Racing manager Harry Herbert said: “He (Opinion) has gone from strength to strength this year.

“He’s very well drawn in stall five and I think Sir Michael has him in great form.

“The step up in trip should suit so I think everyone can go there optimistic that he has a leading chance.

“William (Haggas) has always thought he’s (Guarantee) a horse who could run a big race in the Ebor and I certainly wouldn’t rule him out of it.

“Any rain would help and I don’t think an outside draw is a big problem for him, as it might suit him to finish through horses.”

Yorkshire-born Haggas also saddles Sun Central, who landed the Silver Cup on the Knavesmire last month.

David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, feels testing conditions will be to the detriment of the chances of the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Caravan Rolls On.

Redvers said: “On his form this year we’d be very hopeful, but the rain that has fallen definitely isn’t in his favour.”

John Holt’s Number Theory was beaten less than two lengths into third in last year’s Ebor, but is now 10lb higher in the weights.

Holt said: “He has to carry a few more pounds than he did last year, but he’s in good form.

“I think he’s a better horse than he was this time last year, he’s much stronger now, so hopefully he goes there with a good each-way chance.”

Roger Charlton is “quietly confident” about the chances of Bishop Roko, who carries a penalty for winning at Ascot late last month.

Charlton said: “He’s lightly raced, he won his only start at three then had a setback.

“There’s huge prize-money down to sixth so we’ll give it a go and I’m quietly hopeful he’ll run a big race.”

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