Andrew Mullen has picked up the ride on David Pipe’s Leoncavallo in the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday.
The versatile eight-year-old, who is also a winner over hurdles and fences, is due to carry just 8st 2lb in the second leg of the autumn double.
Last seen winning by almost five lengths at Haydock, Pipe had been concerned whether Leoncavallo would make the cut, but the field thinned out considerably at the confirmation stage.
“We actually weren’t sure if we were going to get in, but the race cut up a lot at the five-day stage,” said Pipe.
“We’re in there off a nice weight, I don’t think he’ll mind the ground and he’s had a good preparation.
“Last year he would have got in, but the year before he wouldn’t have. I discussed it with James Couldwell (racing manager of owners, Value Racing Club) and we decided to take a chance in not running again and it’s worked out.
“We’ve just booked Andrew Mullen to ride him. He’s only got 8st 2lb so it’s a feather weight.
“He was impressive at Haydock, obviously this is a lot harder, but he ticks a lot of the boxes.
“He’s a fantastic horse for a syndicate. We haven’t had him that long at Pond House, but he’s one of the yard favourites already. He’s not over-big, but he’s tough, hardy and obviously has a lot of ability as well.”
Pipe is dual-purpose trainer and for many the jumps season begins this weekend at Chepstow, but the Pond House handler is not expecting to be that busy in Wales.
“I don’t think we’ll have that many, we usually kick off a bit later. We’ll probably have one or two runners. Main Fact and Poker Play are in the Silver Trophy, but I haven’t decided if they’ll run yet,” he said.
Leoncavallo is joint 8-1 favourite with most firms along with Andrew Balding’s Coltrane for the Cesarewitch – a race Pipe’s father, Martin, won twice with Heroes Fatal and Miss Fara in 2000 and 2002.