Harald on course for Cheltenham

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup hope King Harald is poised to make his reappearance at Cheltenham over the weekend.

Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup hope King Harald is poised to make his reappearance at Cheltenham over the weekend.

Trainer Mark Bradstock has encountered a number of problems in giving his seven-year-old, who was last seen when winning at the Festival, a prep run for the November 26 feature.

“He’s been the kiss of death to racecourses,” said Sarah Bradstock, the trainer’s wife.

“He was meant to go to Stratford but it was too firm, then the Old Roan Chase (at Aintree) and then Carlisle, but it was too heavy there.

“After that we were set for Bangor but the meeting was called off.”

Bradstock’s charge is entered for the paddypower.com Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase on Friday and the Grade Three Servo Computer Services Trophy Handicap Chase on Saturday.

And although connections had hoped for an easier introduction on King Harald’s return to the track, Mrs Bradstock confirmed he is likely to take his chance in the latter.

“Even though it is quite a competitive race, the preference is for the Saturday one,” she said.

“He’s in great form and good nick but what we wanted was an easyish race before the Hennessy on November 26.

“The amateur race was the preferred option but it looks like he’ll get a lot less weight in the other one so we’ll probably go for the Saturday.

“Good to soft ground will be perfect.”

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