Niven monitoring Ascot conditions

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Peter Niven is keeping his fingers crossed the ground conditions stay ‘safe’ for Clever Cookie at the Ascot Gold Cup on June 16.

The eight-year-old is set to feature in the Group 1 contest next month and there are high hopes of a victory following his impressive showing at York last time out.

Niven’s charge produced a determined and gutsy performance to clinch the Betway Yorkshire Cup, finishing just half a length ahead of Curbyourenthusiasm in second.

Clever Cookie is now gunning for Ascot glory but his chances will hinge heavily on the track conditions, with the North Yorkshire handler veering away from quick ground.

“We’re not saying he needs a bog, he doesn’t, just as long as it’s safe ground,” Niven said. “The worry is it can get very quick up the straight at Ascot.”

The Aidan O?Brien-trained Order Of St George is the early market leader for the coveted event while Bondi Beach and Max Dynamite are both following closely behind in the betting.

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