Dermot Weld has yet to decide if the current Ascot Gold Cup holder Rite Of Passage will defend his crown at the Royal meeting next week. The trainer has admitted that the horse has had “little training problems” and is not a certain starter.
Rite Of Passage, who is just ahead of Fame And Glory in the betting for the Gold Cup, worked yesterday but Weld was not entirely convinced he would repeat the same performance in a weeks time:
“I was quite happy with the way he worked but we are having little training problems keeping him right. It is a day by day thing with him and there may be a decision about Ascot at the weekend.”
The former decent novice hurdler and November Handicap winner was a surprise victor in the premier staying race last season, but is rightfully a leading contender this time round. He may have most to fear from Ballydoyle challenger Fame And Glory,but the latter still has to prove that he stays this extreme trip(2m4f).