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Adrimel given Warwick aim by Tom Lacey

Tom Lacey is confident Adrimel can take a step up in trip and class in his stride in the Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle.

The five-year-old will put his unbeaten record over hurdles on the line in the two-mile-five Grade Two contest at Warwick on Saturday.

Adrimel, whose sole defeat under rules came in last season’s Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, followed up his debut victory over hurdles at Sandown with a game success at Haydock last month.

Lacey said: “He won’t be going back to Haydock and the plan all being well is to go to Warwick for the Grade Two there.

“He wants plenty of give in the ground so it should be ideal for him there.

“This is a big step up in trip but it should be to his advantage.

“It just shows what a good horse he is that he has been winning over two miles.”

Although Adrimel was a late absentee in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown last weekend, the Herefordshire handler reports his rising star to be in good order.

He said: “I just wasn’t happy with him and I’ve had one or two horses that I’ve not been entirely happy with.

“If you are going to go into a Grade One you need to be 110 per cent but he seems fine now.”

Kimberlite Candy will continue his preparation for the Grand National with an outing at Ascot next month (Steven Paston/PA Images)
Kimberlite Candy will continue his preparation for the Grand National with an outing at Ascot next month (Steven Paston/PA Images)

Leading Randox Health Grand National contender Kimberlite Candy remains on course to make his next start in the Listed Keltbray Swinley Chase at Ascot on February 20.

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old filled the runner’s up spot on his return to action for the second season in succession over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree in last month’s Becher Chase.

Lacey said: “Kimberlite Candy is in great nick. I’ve spoken to Mr McManus and his team and he will run at Ascot in a three-mile handicap after the National weights are out.

“Even though he was beaten 24 lengths, I didn’t expect him to get dropped by the handicapper as he picked up a good prize for second.”

Lacey sweet on Becher bid for Kimberlite Candy

Tom Lacey has another Becher Chase bid in mind for last year’s runner-up Kimberlite Candy.

The eight-year-old finished two and a half lengths behind dual Becher hero Walk In The Mill in the three-and-a-quarter-mile contest 12 months ago.

Lacey is now planning to return to Aintree on December 5 to take on the same race over the National fences.

“He’ll go for the Becher Chase, he’s in great nick, we’re really pleased with him,” he said.

“I’d have to refresh my memory, I think he went up for winning the Classic Chase and then he got another 2lb when The Conditional won at the Festival. That leaves him several pounds higher than he was going into the Becher Chase last season.”

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After his Becher performance and an emphatic win in the Grade Three Classic Chase at Warwick, Lacey’s charge looked like a Grand National contender before the meeting was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Lacey has the marathon race pencilled in once again for the JP McManus-owned gelding, providing the Aintree going conditions are sufficiently soft.

“It would be the plan, but I think we’d be reliant on a wet spring,” he said.

“I think he would have run last year, it was drying up beforehand and the weather was just going against us initially, but they do a very good job of watering at Aintree.

“I think you see the best of him with some juice in the ground.”

Sebastopol (right) is heading for the Greatwood Hurdle
Sebastopol (right) is heading for the Greatwood Hurdle (Jeff Holmes/PA)

The Woolhope handler plans to give Scottish County Hurdle winner Sebastopol an outing in the Grade Three Unibet Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.

He said: “I’m very keen to have a go at the Greatwood with Sebastopol. If he is going to competitive this season, he has got to be in some of those decent handicap hurdles. He is immensely talented and I think ultimately we will end up going up in trip with him.

“A race like the Greatwood though, they will go flat out and it should be run to suit him.”

Stablemate Tea Clipper could bid to back up his Silver Trophy success from Chepstow at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Lacey added: “Tea Clipper could go to Cheltenham for the Listed hurdle there next weekend or we might wait for Haydock in what was the fixed brush hurdle.  I was really pleased with the way he picked up again at Chepstow.

“His hurdling probably needs to be slicker as he spends a lot of time in the air at his hurdles.

“Had he not won the Silver Trophy, we would have probably campaigned him over fences, but as he has won that we ought to campaign him over hurdles.”