Ground key to Seabass run

Ground conditions will dictate whether Ted Walsh allows prolific winner Seabass to take his chance in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton on Saturday.

The nine-year-old is unbeaten in his last six starts and has landed valuable handicaps at Limerick and Leopardstown, but with conditions at Kempton currently drying out, Walsh is concerned the ground will not suit his charge.

Seabass also has the option of running in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday or the Chase at Naas on Sunday.

The trainer said: "It all depends on the weather. They are calling the ground good at Kempton and are even talking about watering if the rain doesn't come, which tells me it is pretty quick - that wouldn't suit our horse.

"We've also got him at Fairyhouse and Naas and we'll just see which way the weather is going later in the week. We'd like to go to Kempton, but the trouble is you can travel over and then be tempted to run - even if the ground isn't right. It's not the same as going down the road to Naas or Fairyhouse and deciding not to run."

Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford said: "There is the possibility of us getting a couple of millimetres of rain on Wednesday evening, so we'll see if that materialises and go from there, but it would be nice.

"There has been plenty of moisture in the ground, as you would expect for this time of year, but it is drying out a bit and I wouldn't rule out putting five millimetres of water on during Thursday and Friday if we don't get much more rain. I'm only contemplating it and I won't make any decision until Thursday."

Top-weight and ante-post favourite Planet Of Sound is on target to return to the track in Saturday's race. It will be his first start since finishing second in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November and Philip Hobbs is planning to use the race as a stepping-stone to the Grand National at Aintree in April.

"He's in very good form and worked well on Tuesday morning. We're hoping to go there and then the National," the trainer told At The Races.

Colin Tizzard intends to make a late decision on whether to let Saturday's facile Haydock winner Cannington Brook turn out again. The eight-year-old galloped his rivals into the ground on Merseyside and with the handicapper raising his mark by over a stone, he would be well-in with a 5lb penalty.

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