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Irish raider Barba Papa is as short as 7-1 favourite with Coral for the Tote Cesarewitch following today`s publication of the weights for the prestigious handicap.

And although trainer Tony Martin thinks it is 'a bit much' to make his charge market leader for the second leg of the `Autumn Double`, the six-year-old is likely to take his chance.

Barba Papa, who has been set to carry 8st 7lb, won the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting on his only start of the Flat season so far and was a fast-finishing third in the Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle last time.

'The intention is to try and line up there, it`s been the objective since he ran in the Galway Hurdle,' Martin said.

'The plan is to run if everything`s right and at the moment I`m happy with him.

'But I think it`s a bit much to make him favourite, he`s gone up in the weights and it`s two furlongs shorter than Ascot.

'Ansar and Ski Run are the ones I like in the race.'

Ski Run, the horse that gave Frankie Dettori such an uncomfortable ride at York last week when third in the Lonsdale Stakes, heads the weights on 9-10 in the #120,000 contest at Newmarket on October 14th.

A total of 75 entries have been made for the 18-furlong event including Mark Johnston`s 1998 winner Spirit Of Love, who follows Ski Run in the weights on 9-9.

Stablemate Etterby Park (7-12), who finished nine lengths second to Spirit Of Love in that renewal, is back in training and could also take his chance again.

Last year`s winner Top Cees has been retired after sustaining an injury in the Chester Cup but Dominant Duchess (8-12), Heros Fatal (7-13) and Eastwell Hall (8-0), who filled the minor placings in 1999, have all been entered again.

Apart from Barba Papa the Irish entry includes Dermot Weld`s pair Hirapour (9-1) and Chester Cup second Ansar (8-7) and the Willie Mullins-trained Tryphaena (7-8).

Other notable entries include Chester Cup winner Bangalore (8-6) and Northumberland Plate runner-up Temple Way.

Fantasy Hill, third in the Chester Cup and fourth in the Northumberland Plate, is also in the race.

However, trainer John Dunlop`s racing secretary Marcus Hosgood said today: 'It could be his end-of-season target but he is a horse that wants top of the ground - people shouldn`t forget that.'

Opening Tote Cesarewitch prices:

Coral: 7-1 Barba Papa, 10-1 Dominant Duchess, Heros Fatal, Silent Warning, 16-1 Mana D`Argent, Ski Run, Fantasy Hill, 20-1 Bar.

Ladbrokes bet: 10-1 Barba Papa, 12-1 Dominant Duchess, Heros Fatal, 14-1 Fantasy Hill, 16-1 Ansar, Seliana, Spirit Of Love, Tryphaena, 20-1 Bar.

Tote bet: 12-1 Barba Papa, 14-1 Ansar, Dominant Duchess, Silent Warning, 16-1 Bangalore, Eastwell Hall, Fantasy Hill, Heros Fatal, Mana D`Argent, Seliana, Ski Run, Tensile, Turnpole, 20-1 Bar.

William Hill bet: 10-1 Barba Papa, 12-1 Dominant Duchess, Heros Fatal, 16-1 Ansar, Bangalore, Eastwell Hall, Fantasy Hill, Ravenswood, Seliana, Silent Warning, Ski Run, Temple Way, 20-1 Bar.