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Moss' to miss Cleeve Hurdle

MOSSLEY will not travel over to Cheltenham to contest the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle this weekend.

The Robbie Hennessy-trained seven-year-old will instead be kept on ice until ground conditions improve.

Mossley won a Grade Two novices' hurdle at Cheltenham in December 2010 and was last seen finishing fifth in the Lismullen Hurdle.

"He won't be going to Cheltenham," said County Meath-based Hennessy.

"We entered him thinking the ground would be a bit better at Cheltenham than in Ireland, but it's not to be.

"He's been working well and is in good form, but we'll have to wait until the ground gets better."

Trainer Donald McCain has also ruled out Peddlers Cross, with connections instead planning to run him in a race on Kempton's "jumpers' bumpers" card tomorrow.

However, Knockara Beau will once again be given the chance to shine in the Cleeve.

George Charlton's 10-year-old finished second in the 2011 renewal of the Grade Two over three miles.

"The plan is to run him," said the Northumberland handler.

"It's a big ask, but he was second two years ago.

"He's in good form, even though we have struggled with the bad weather up here."

Officials at Cheltenham are now very hopeful of the meeting going ahead despite another inch of snow falling on the track on Tuesday night.

No further significant snowfall is forecast ahead of the fixture and officials will work to clear the white stuff from the covers that have been protecting the surface before a planned inspection at 8am tomorrow.

As a proviso, the card could take place on Sunday, should the course not be deemed fit to race on Saturday.

"We had a manageable amount of an inch of snow overnight," clerk of the course Simon Claisse said.


"The course remains unfrozen under the covers.

"We have severe frost forecast for Thursday night, but providing the forecast for rain on Friday night stays in place and there is no further threat of snow, I am getting more and more optimistic about the Saturday card going ahead.

"The forecast is for it to stay dry until Friday afternoon when the rain band may be preceded by a little sleet or snow.

"I would anticipate if the forecast is right, come Friday morning after that last frost we will be able to give the go-ahead then.

"If the weather does turn against us we still have the Sunday option."