Lavelle suffers Cloak frustration
Emma Lavelle is hoping the meeting at Taunton on Saturday beats the weather and ground conditions are not too testing so she can give Claret Cloak an outing ahead of next month's Betfair Hurdle.
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The Andover trainer is targeting the big handicap at Newbury on February 9, but would like to get a run into him before then as Claret Cloak has not seen racecourse action since he filled third place behind Raya Star ar Ascot in early November.
The Better Prices On Betfair Mobile Handicap Hurdle at Taunton fits in nicely but the British winter is putting those plans in jeopardy.
"It's just ground, we're having a nightmare. If it's on and it's soft he'll probably run," said Lavelle.
"It's not ideal but we're trying to get him out if we possibly can. Obviously he hasn't run since Ascot and it's just so frustrating.
"Ideally what we wanted to do was to go to Taunton and give him a pipe-opener because he hasn't run for a while, with a view of then going to Newbury.
"Ground within reason is key to him. He's well handicapped so we'd probably run him on slightly softer ground than ideal and the hope that he might be well-in gives us a bit of leeway, but it's not ideal at the moment.
"If Taunton was off he would have to go straight to Newbury. I don't think there's much else for him before then."