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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Lieutenant gunning for WorthHeadlines
First Lieutenant

Mouse Morris is hopeful First Lieutenant can overcome Bobs Worth in Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.

The Irish raider chased home Bobs Worth at Cheltenham and was eventually beaten two and a half lengths, before going on to finish third at the Punchestown Festival.

Trainer Mouse Morris said: "Bobs Worth is obviously a much shorter price than us. Maybe they (bookmakers) are right, but it won't bother me - the horse doesn't know what price he is."

He added: "Ideally we'd like better ground, but then so would he (Bobs Worth), so what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I'm very hopeful our horse is going to run a big race.

"He's ready to rock and roll and hopefully the ground is drying out a bit and it isn't going to be too bad. There is nowhere else for him to go before the Lexus, so he might as well run as he's in really good fettle at the moment."

Hold On Julio caught the attention of many pundits when a fine third at Cheltenham on his seasonal return, and though he disappointed when sent off joint-favourite in Grade Three company at the Cheltenham Festival, trainer Alan King is sweet on his chances this time.

The Barbury Castle handler told his website, www.alankingracing.co.uk: "Hold On Julio represents us on Saturday and is unquestionably the best chance we've had of winning the prestigious handicap.

"He continues to improve, even as he approaches his 10th birthday, and I couldn't be happier with his well-being. I was thrilled with his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham last month and he has come on significantly for that run.

"He's got a nice weight, should handle the ground and gets the trip well. In short, he ticks all the boxes and I'm hopeful of a big run."

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