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Alan King at his Barbury Castle stables in Wiltshire (November 12, 2010)

Alan King: relies on Midnight Sail in Greatwood Gold Cup

  PICTURE: David Dew (  

Midnight set to sail at Newbury on Saturday 

ALAN KING is hoping that the better ground which is finally materialising at courses around Britain can aid the chances of his StanJames Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup hope, Midnight Sail.

Following months of ground saturated by rain and snow, a recent dry spell has helped tracks dry out, which in turn is benefiting horses who cannot operate in botttomless going.

Midnight Sail was victorious last time out at Kempton on going described as good, and is an 8-1 chance for Saturday's Grade 3 race at Newbury, for which 13 runners were declared on Thursday.

King, writing on his website, attributed the ten-year-old's recent victory to the improving underfoot conditions, as he said: " He is so reliable and finished second four times off the spin before getting bogged down in the heavy ground at Plumpton.

"However, he was back on song at Kempton last week, where the key was the improved going. He travelled well the whole way round and quickened up nicely,  and, though he is now 7lb higher, he deserves his shot at this decent prize."

The going at Newbury was on Thursday described as good to soft, with only light drizzle forecast overnight Thursday before Saturday's race.

Favourite for the Greatwood Gold Cup is The Knoxs, trained by Paul Nicholls, with Garynella and Pepite Rose also prominent in the betting.

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