sport

Kings aiming to reign for Pipe

David Pipe has his fingers crossed Kings Palace will cope with ground likely to be faster than ideal at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The five-year-old backed up a victory at Fontwell with an 18-length romp over Creepy, who has since franked the form with a Grade Two success on this course and now bids to complete a hat-trick.

"He's done nothing wrong. He's up in class again. He would prefer a bit softer ground, but every horse would probably want it that way," said Pipe.

"The form of his last race is good but he needs to be good again to win this race."

The strength of Kings Palace's form has not gone unnoticed by Rebecca Curtis, trainer of Potters Cross, who got off the mark over hurdles at Ffos Las three weeks ago.

"He's in really good form and has come out of that race well," said the Newport trainer.

"I think David Pipe's horse (Kings Palace) will take a lot of beating. We would be happy with a place really as it's a graded race.

"I think he will run well again, but I don't know whether he'll be good enough to beat the likes of him."

Milan Bound looks to be on upward curve having won both his races over hurdles at Carlisle and Uttoxeter, but connections of the Jonjo O'Neill-trained five-year-old believe he has to improve.

"He's won a couple of races, but it's a big step up for him. We'll see where we go after the race," said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus.