Cloudy cut for Hennessy
Cloudy Too staked his claim for a tilt at Newbury's Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup with an impressive success at Carlisle.
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Ridden positively by Jonathan England, the Sue Smith-trained grey jumped smartly and raised the pace going down the back straight.
He continued to pour it on once straightened up for home and his rivals were unable to keep up.
Tony McCoy kept working on 11/8 favourite Tap Night, but was eight lengths adrift of the winner at the line.
Cloudy Too appreciated the testing ground and going conditions, along with the handicapper's reaction to this performance, will dictate whether the grey takes up his entry in the Hennessy.
Smith's husband, Harvey, said: said: "He's a good horse and the lad (England) rode him well.
"He knows the horse, which is essential.
"He could go to the Hennessy, but it depends what mark he gets. If he (the handicapper) puts him up too much, he won't go."
Only Ladbrokes left Cloudy Too's odds unchanged at 25/1, the likes of Sky Bet, BetVictor, Stan James and William Hill all cutting him to 16/1.
The principal market mover on Sunday was the Alan King-trained Invictus, off the course last season with injury, but seemingly set to return to action off a tempting handicap mark.
Now 8/1 from 10/1 with Boylesports, Bet Victor and Stan James and the same price from 12/1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes, bookmakers were forced into evasive action after a rush of support arrived in the morning and he is now clear favourite for the November 30 showpiece.