Racing: After all the problems with the inclement weather, Cheltenham has got the go-ahead for a superb card, as it should be, on Trials’ Day at the Prestbury Park track.
All eyes will be on brilliant Sprinter Sacre to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the rescheduled Victor Chandler Chase, due off at 1.50.
There is little doubt that granted a clear round, the giant seven-year-old should land this valuable contest before running in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival.
But at 1/5 he won’t be able to pay your exorbitant fuel bills this winter and the wager is to have an each-way bet on Kumbeshwar at 33/1.
Alan King’s charge was ridden for a place when finishing second in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park and with Sanctuaire almost certain to try and turn over the favourite again, I can see the same scenario unfolding this afternoon.
Kumbeshwar will merely be hunted out the back, take his time at his obstacles and then hopefully outstay the second and third favourites, Sanctuaire and Somersby, up the hill to claim the lion’s share of the place prize money.
The opening JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial looks a cracking affair and Double Cee looks an interesting newcomer for the shrewd Warren Greatrex yard. He will certainly see out this trip and could be the value at double figure odds to shock previous winners Rolling Star and the strong staying Knight of Pleasure.
Later on, Katenko can continue on the upgrade in the Murphy Group Handicap Chase at 1.15.
The Venetia Williams charge absolutely bolted up in testing conditions at Sandown Park last time out, after which he was even being talked about as a possible Gold Cup outsider.
If he is to even claim a place in that field, the French import will have to dismantle this lot off a handicap mark of 147.
It’s a tough ask in a better race, but his surefire jumping and strong style of running can see him shrug off the likes of Walkon and Bless The Wings.
The other feature race of the day, the Argento Chase at 2.25, could see Weird Al bounce back to form.
Don McCain has always thought a lot of his 10-year-old but he is a fragile sort and as long as he is strong in the market, a return to form could be on the cards and he is preferred to Wayward Prince and Grands Crus.
On the flat at Lingfield Park have a second look at Mawaakef to come late and fast off a likely solid pace to claims the prize at 3.10, while Tribal Path can get us off to a good start in the maiden event at 12.20.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.