Rain would help Chris Pea Green
Gary Moore is looking to the skies and rain ahead of Chris Pea Green's bid to win the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday
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The four-year-old, who was seventh to Our Conor in last season's Triumph Hurdle, has not got his head in front so far this term but has run well in defeat on both his starts.
Second to Pine Creek over this course and distance on his reappearance in early November, he was third to Ifbutandwhynot in the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury nearly four weeks later.
"He's in good order and any more rain would be helpful," said Moore. "He's not very well-handicapped, but he's a nice horse and in fine shape."
Nicky Henderson reports ante-post favourite Rolling Star and Chatterbox to be definite runners in the valuable handicap, and the Seven Barrows trainer is also hoping Snake Eyes will make the cut in the maximum 21-runner field.
"If Snake Eyes got in, he'd run. Certainly Rolling Star and Chatterbox will," said Henderson.
The Henderson pair dominate the ante-post market, with Rolling Star the 5/1 favourite with Coral and Chatterbox 7/1.
Chris Pea Green is a 12/1 shot along with another horse who prefers soft ground, the Brian Ellison-trained Totalize. He has been cut from 16/1, having been 25s when betting on the valuable handicap hurdle began.
"With more rain forecast at Ascot, connections could get the soft ground they want, and if that happens there is every chance Totalize could be sent off at single-figure odds on Saturday, having been a 25/1 shot when betting opened," said Coral's David Stevens.
Chatterbox was the main mover with Ladbrokes, being cut to 8/1 from 10s.