Going updates and expert tips for a star-studded card at Fairyhouse
There is a triple dose of Grade 1 action to get stuck into at Fairyhouse and starts early: the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at 1.00 will be one of the earliest Grade 1s in the calendar.
That race contains one-time Classic hope Mengli Khan. Half an hour later, Stayers' Hurdle winner Nichols Canyon will make his reappearance in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle, but he might not even be favourite as Apple's Jade stands in his way. Supasundae completes the trio of winners from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
The final Grade 1 in the Drinmore Novice Chase, won by the likes of Don Cossack and Valseur Lido and, looking further back, Alexander Banquet and Dorans Pride.
Though the British racing cannot measure up to that, Carlisle still provides a bumper payday for the north with the finals of the Northern Lights series, five £25,000 handicaps that have attracted competitive fields. Leicester also stages a six-race card.
Carlisle - first race 12.20
Soft, heavy in places (GoingStick 6.5 chase, 6.4 hurdle on Sunday at 6.30)
Fairyhouse - 12.30
Leicester - 12.40
Soft, good to soft in places on hurdles course; good, good to firm in places on chase course (GoingStick 5.9 and 7.3 respectively on Sunday at 6.30)
Leicester 12.40 High Noon 7-1 (from 9s)
Leicester 1.45 Masters Hill 9-1 (from 10s)
Carlisle 2.25 Golden Investment 3-1 (from 4s)
What to back
Check out what the team on What's The Word think of the Hatton's Grace.
What to read
Get the lowdown on what yesterday means for future big races as our panel tackled the big questions.
On Hatton's Grace day, read Nicholas Godfrey on the rivalry between post-war Champion Hurdlers Hatton's Grace and National Spirit.
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With the narrow runner-up running off 161 and the winner earning a 25-1 Gold Cup quote, Ladbrokes must be pleased with their first year sponsoring the old Hennessy. Surely no other handicap, with only the possible exception of the National, delivers genuine top quality so consistently these days.