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Luca Cumani is hoping a change of plan for Mount Athos pays dividends when the stayer lines up for the Coral Marathon at Sandown tomorrow.
The Newmarket-based trainer had originally targeted the John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes at York next Saturday, but has re-routed the five-year-old to Esher because of an adverse long-range weather forecast.
"He's very well. Our hand was forced. It wasn't my target to begin with. I wanted him to go to York next week for the mile-and-six Listed race, but the forecast is so dire for next week as well so I thought we'd better take advantage of the decent ground at Sandown," Cumani told At The Races.
"He for sure doesn't want it soft, we know that for a fact. He's never run well on soft ground, so we have to run him.
"Two miles might be stretching him a little bit. On the other hand he's in good form and I think he's progressing. He can be a little bit keen. If he settles he'd have a good chance."
Brian Meehan is expecting a decent showing from Aaim To Prosper, who was narrowly beaten by Chiberta King in this race last summer.
"Our veteran former Cesarewitch hero was beaten a nose in the corresponding event 12 months ago, but appeared only once more, in the Goodwood Cup, when a close sixth to Opinion Poll," the Manton trainer told www.brianmeehan.co.uk
"He went to France for a Listed recently, finishing handy in fourth, so will be fully primed for this. That said, this Listed race could easily pass for a Group Two, such is the paucity of possible targets for this sector of the horse establishment."
Marcus Tregoning has his fingers crossed conditions do not get too bad for Askar Tau. The Lambourn trainer has announced he will not risk the Ascot Gold Cup fifth on unsuitable ground.
"We are just watching the weather. Everyone knows he just doesn't like soft ground, and it's looking threatening. He will only run if the ground is suitable. He'd certainly run well if the ground was right for him," said Tregoning.