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Diamond King may look to boost Cheltenham claims with Ascot run

Diamond King could warm up for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival by running at Ascot on Saturday but Donald McCain may just keep his powder dry and wait for better conditions if the ground is testing at the Berkshire track.

The son of King's Theatre has justified his 95,000 euros price tag by winning on four of his first five starts and is rated by many as a lively outsider for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

The six-year-old got off to a flying start when landing a Wetherby bumper around this time last year, prevailing by 16 lengths despite being eased down in the closing stages, and followed up by bolting in by an even wider margin at Bangor in that sphere.

He returned to Wetherby for his hurdling bow and scored with the minimum of fuss before suffering his only setback to date when turned over at odds-on back at Bangor, where he lost all momentum when clouting the final flight just as he looked set for another success.

There were no such mistakes at Doncaster last month as Diamond King got back on track with a clinical defeat of Uppingham and now it is just a case of finalising plans for his Festival preparations, with avoiding soft ground the key.

"He's won his novice hurdles well and should be unbeaten but for trainer error," said McCain on his latest Betfair video blog. "He'll have an entry at the Betfair Ascot Chase meeting in the good novice hurdle there, but if he runs over hurdles again before the Festival we'll make sure it's two and a half miles on good ground, because that's what he definitely wants and otherwise we wouldn't find anything out. If things were to go well, there's a possibility he will end up in the Neptune."

McCain has had past success in the 2m 5f Festival contest, having struck with Peddlers Cross back in 2010.


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Diamond King may look to boost Cheltenham claims with Ascot run

Diamond King could warm up for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival by running at Ascot on Saturday but Donald McCain may just keep his powder dry and wait for better conditions if the ground is testing at the Berkshire track.

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