Ungaro Cheltenham ground fears

Last updated at 12:50 01 March 2007

Ungaro's participation in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase will depend totally on

the ground at Cheltenham.

Keith Reveley's eight-year-old is unbeaten in three starts over fences and he won the Grade One Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton by an impressive 10 lengths from Boychuk on his latest start.

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However, he has been absent since December on account of the soft ground that

has been prevalent all over the country, and testing conditions could yet see

him miss the Festival.

"We've not made a final decision as yet because, like everybody else, we are

just waiting on the ground," said Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir

Robert Ogden.

"If it is very heavy ground he probably wouldn't run and we would wait for

Aintree but Cheltenham does drain very quick.

"I can remember a few years back walking the course on the Friday when the

mud was coming over the top of my wellies and on the Tuesday Marlborough took

nine seconds off the course-record in the William Hill Chase.

"What I can say is that he will be declared at the five-day stage and we will

take it from there.

"We would have liked to have run him last week but ground conditions

determined that he stayed at home and we decided to play safe.

"We want to run him but we have said all along that he is not very big and he

has yet to race over fences at Cheltenham and we would have liked to get some

experience on an undulating track into him.

"He jumped adequately at Kempton so we have no real worries about the fences.

It is just the ground, but we are in the same boat as everyone on that score."

Ungaro is a general 10-1 chance for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase.

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