Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poliantas Seeking to Settle the Score

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poliantas Seeking to Settle the Score

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

Poliantas ran a blinder at Cheltenham a year ago when chasing home Cyfor Malta on his first appearance in a handicap in the Thomas Pink Gold Cup.

The pair clash again today in the same event, now sponsored by Paddy Power, and although the weights point to the winner coming out on top again, I fancy the younger horse to get his revenge.

Strictly on the book, Cyfor Malta should confirm his superiority as he beat his rival seven lengths and is now 2lb better off. However, Poliantas is open to improvement whereas Cyfor Malta has been around longer.

Paul Nicholls has suffered a few reverses in recent weeks with three of his rising stars failing to complete on their seasonal debuts, but these hiccups happen to the best of them and normal service was resumed when he claimed the main prize here yesterday. Poliantas ran well in his first season out of novice company without picking up a big prize when his two victories included a Grade Two event over the course and distance. Nicholls says the horse is always at his best in the autumn and spring and seems to hit a mid-season flat spot, although he wouldn't want too much rain as he is better on a good surface.

Fondmort ran his three best races last winter at Cheltenham and, though he was beaten 10 lengths by Poliantes on one occasion, he is 10lb better off this time.

Apart from Cyfor Malta, Martin Pipe also saddles It Takes Time and he is more fancied of the pair in ante-post lists.

While Master Tern isn't the most fluent of jumpers, he is more than capable of running a big race, while Young Sparticus and the Irish raider Risk Accessor are others with decent claims.

Gralmano showed great courage to lift the John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby despite fluffing one or two obstacles, but this versatile performer faces a stiff task in the Lombard Properties Handicap Hurdle. …

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