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Countrywide Flame - Cheltenham 16.03.2012

Countrywide Flame: "tries hard and has a high-cruising speed"

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Weld wants dry night for Ces fancy Olympiad

TRAINER Dermot Weld is hoping the rain stays away from Newmarket on Friday night for his leading Betfred Cesarewitch contender Olympiad.

The Sir Robert Ogden-owned colt, who ranges from 10-1 to 12-1 in the betting for Saturday's marathon handicap, won at York's Ebor meeting on good-to-firm ground, but landed his maiden on soft going at Gowran Park in April.

Weld, who won the 1992 Cesarewitch with subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop, said: "He's very well but [stall] 33 is not very helpful. Good-to-soft should be okay for him but I definitely don't want any more rain."

The going at Newmarket for Future Champions Day was on Friday night described as good to soft, although rain is forecast on Saturday.

John Quinn trains ante-post favourite Countrywide Flame and while he is happy with his challenger, he is concerned the two three-year-olds in the race - I Have A Dream and Montaser - are at an advantage with the weight-for-age allowance.

"Countrywide Flame is an uncomplicated horse who tries hard, and has a high-cruising speed," said Quinn.

"The draw [seven] is okay and I feel he'll stay. He's in very good form and we are hoping for a good run, but I think three-year-olds get far too much weight for age."

The Cesarewitch is the big betting race at Newmarket on Saturday, but there could be some Classic clues on offer with the Middle Park Stakes and Dubai Dewhurst - both Group 1s - plus the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes for fillies.

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