Lavelle in Cloak and dagger approach
Emma Lavelle has confirmed the lightly-raced Claret Cloak an intended runner in the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday week.
The five-year-old ended his novice campaign over hurdles with back-to-back victories at Sandown and Newbury and ran a race full of promise when third behind last year's Ladbroke hero Raya Star on his Ascot comeback.
Claret Cloak is set to carry 10st 7lb following the publication of the weights and is a 14-1 shot with the sponsors.
Lavelle said: "The Ladbroke is definitely the target for Claret Cloak but the ground is the crucial thing with him and we are hoping it stays dry.
"He has been in great form since Ascot and seems in really good condition. I was chuffed to bits with his first run and he has definitely come on a little bit.
"There is no doubt that the better the ground, the better he will perform so if we got good ground at Ascot we would be delighted.
"I think they will go a furious pace in The Ladbroke and that will suit him because he has a very high cruising speed. I think 136 is a workable mark as he's only a baby and is still improving physically - I think he is getting better."
Claret Cloak could be reopposed by Raya Star, who currently shares top-weight of 11st 12lb with last weekend's Sandown winner Petit Robin.
Gerry Feilden winner Lyvius (10st 6lb), Haydock scorer Balder Succes (11st 4lb) and Dermot Weld's Irish contender Hisaabaat (11st 5lb) are among the other major players.