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Goldie waits on ground

Ground fears for Ascot hero

Last Updated: 08/05/12 5:32pm

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Hawkeyethenoo (black): Last-year's winner

Hawkeyethenoo (black): Last-year's winner

Sky Bet

Jim Goldie admits extreme conditions could rule last-year's winner Hawkeyethenoo out of Saturday's Betfred Victoria Cup at Ascot.

While the ground at the Berkshire track is not too testing at this stage, up to a further inch of rain is forecast for the middle of this week.

Hawkeyethenoo won the prestigious handicap 12 months ago and Goldie is keen to see him defend his crown, but only if the ground is suitable.

"The plan is to run him at this stage, but a lot depends on the ground," said Goldie.

"He's in good form and the plan has been to start him off in this race for a while, but if it ends up very soft we might give it a miss.

"I don't know where we'll go if he doesn't run as this has been his aim, but we didn't expect monsoon-like conditions in early May!

"We'll just have to see what happens. There is more rain forecast, but then the track does dry quickly at Ascot."

Set to take the ride for the first time if the six-year-old does line up is Graham Lee.

The Grand National-winning rider made the shock decision to become a fully-fledged Flat jockey at the start of this season and rode two winners for Goldie at Musselburgh last week.

"If he runs Graham will ride him. Everyone knows he's a class jockey," said the trainer.

"He's won a Grand National, Scottish Nationals, been top jockey at Cheltenham and ridden over 1,000 winners. Not many have a CV like that."

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