Maljimar to go for Connaught Gold Cup

Maljimar will head to Newbury on Saturday as trainer Nick Williams targets the £65,000 Connaught Gold Cup with his progressive chaser.

Maljimar will head to Newbury on Saturday as trainer Nick Williams targets the £65,000 Connaught Gold Cup with his progressive chaser.

The eight-year-old has not been seen since slamming Burntoakboy by 11 lengths in another Grade Three handicap at Cheltenham in January but is showing the right signs at home.

Williams said: “The plan is to run at Newbury on Saturday. He came out of Cheltenham fine and I’m reasonably happy with him.

“He’s a nice horse and I’ve always liked him. I felt we’d had terrible bad luck with him throughout the season and hoped things would eventually come right, which they did that day.

“He did make a bad mistake at the fourth-last there, though, so it would have been pretty grim if he’d got rid of his jockey.

“I’m not sure how strong the form was – it was not an unbelievably strong race and was probably one of the weaker Cheltenham handicaps.”

Maljimar was upped 14lb by the handicapper for his stroll last time, and was allotted 10st 12lb in the Racing Post Plate when the Cheltenham Festival weights were announced on Wednesday.

However, a trip to Prestbury Park next month is not considered likely as Williams feels Maljimar needs time between his races.

“Cheltenham would be remote – he’s only entered in the Racing Post Plate in case Newbury was off as he needs five weeks between his races.

“It was a question of Newbury or Cheltenham and this just looked the better option as there are likely to be as many as 24 runners in the Racing Post Chase.

“With that many runners it’s tough going for a hold-up horse, especially around Cheltenham.”

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