Sounds Russian future plans still wide open ahead of Kelso trip

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The eight-year-old's star has been rising all season, winning the Edinburgh Gin Chase on his return before placing fourth in the Many Clouds - a Grade Two over three miles and a furlong at Aintree. He then was the runner-up in two successive chases, finishing second in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby and then being defeated by only Ahoy Senor in the Cotswold Chase in late January. The latter run brought the Cheltenham Gold Cup into focus come March, with the bay not ruled out of that contest despite his entry for Kelso at the weekend. "It was always the plan to give him an entry at Kelso and then decide where we go," Jefferson said. "It might be a completely pointless entry or he could rock up on Saturday, we just wanted to give him the entry and give us the time to think about it. "It's not an indication that he isn't going to Cheltenham, we just wanted to keep our options open because it's a pretty tough race, the Gold Cup!"

Jamie Snowden's classy chaser Ga Law also holds an entry alongside Dan Skelton's Coral Gold Cup winner Le Milos and Donald McCain's Minella Drama. Harriet Graham and Gary Rutherford's Aye Right, the Sandy Thompson-trained Empire Steel and Oliver Signy's French Paradoxe all feature along with Emmet Mullins' The Shunter, who won the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle on this card in 2021. Mel Rowley's Wishing And Hoping and Philip Hobbs' Zanza complete the field. The Morebattle has 26 contenders at this stage, including McTigue for Mullins and top weight Colonel Mustard, who is trained by Lorna Fowler.

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