Cheltenham all ready for a cracking card
THE jumps season steps up a gear today when all eyes will fall on Cheltenham for the second day of their Open meeting, the feature on which will be the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The likes of Grands Crus, Al Ferof and Hunt Ball are set to do battle in the first big betting race of the season and as you would expect with Cheltenham the supporting card features some top-notch action too.
The gates at Prestbury Park open at 10am and it is an early start on the track too where the first of their six races, the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, gets underway at 12.45.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has won the last two runnings with Hinterland last year and Sam Winner in 2010 and his Far West looks certain to prove popular with punters this time around.
Nicholls said: ""He won well at Chepstow and the second went in nicely next time at Aintree, which is encouraging. He has improved since his first run for us and he's one of a number of useful juveniles we've got but it's too soon to say if he'll be a Triumph horse."
As well as Cheltenham there is jumps action at Uttoxeter and Wetherby while Flat racing takes place at Lingfield, where they host two Listed races, and at Wolverhampton this evening.
Over in Ireland they race at Punchestown on the first day of their two-day meeting.
Cheltenham: soft, good to soft in places.
Uttoxeter: heavy on the chase and soft, heavy in places on the hurdle course.
Wetherby: good to soft.