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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Craven meeting kicks off a feast of action over both codes this week

Roaring Lion (near): last year's Racing Post Trophy runner-up is entered in the Craven
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The Grand National may be done and dusted for another season, but there are riches abound over both codes this week. With the weather finally looking like it's taking a turn for the better, get ready for some top-class action in the sunshine! Here's a taste of what's on offer


Flat fans have been waiting for the season to really begin, and they'll get their wish as Newmarket's three-day Craven meeting kicks off.

Before competitive action on the Rowley Mile gets under way, racegoers will have the chance to witness Cracksman, rated the best horse in Europe last year, limbering up for his seasonal return with a racecourse gallop.

Then when racing starts, the Listed Feilden Stakes is the highlight. Aidan O'Brien has another formidable arsenal at his disposal, but will Kew Gardens announce himself as an Investec Derby contender?

In Ireland, the final day of Fairyhouse's Easter festival, which was originally lost to waterlogging, has been rescheduled. Fresh from his Grand National success with Tiger Roll, Gordon Elliott could be mob-handed for the Grade 2 BoyleSports Juvenile Hurdle, one of several valuable prizes on the card.


The girls take centre stage at Newmarket, with the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes potentially offering clues for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas.

Frankie Dettori has been the man for the race in recent seasons, winning the last four runnings. Pay close attention to his mount if his name features among the declarations.

The home of jump racing, Cheltenham, stages its first fixture since the festival, with the Grade 2  Barchester Healthcare Silver Trophy Chase topping the bill.


It's time to see what the colts have to offer for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, with the Group 3 bet365 Craven Stakes the principal race. Racing Post Trophy runner-up Roaring Lion heads the entries, with several unexposed and exciting types among the possibles.

Over at Cheltenham, a trio of Listed races should keep jumps fans happy.


Ayr joins the party with the start of its two-day Scottish Grand National meeting, and the Listed Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase is the main event.

On the Flat, following Newmarket's emergence from hibernation, Newbury follows suit, while there is a Listed sprint for fillies and mares at Bath on a card soley for the speedsters.

Alvarado (blaze, left) is about to jump the last and go in pursuit of Vicente (centre) in last year's Coral Scottish Grand National

Another weekend, another National. The Scottish Grand National will be the big draw, offering the chance for those who were successful (or not) at Aintree, to unpick another handicap puzzle. There's also the Scottish Champion Hurdle for good measure.

Back at Newbury it's a Pattern-race bonanza, with three Group 3s starting the card off. The John Porter could see the return of some staying stars, while the Fred Darling and Greenham Stakes are more opportunities for this season's Classic crop to make their mark.


There's no resting on the the final day of this week, with the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan possibly providing the stage for Order Of St George to make his seasonal return.

Read exclusive previews of Newmarket and Fairyhouse from 6pm tonight on


Racing Post Trophy runner-up Roaring Lion heads the entries, with several unexposed and exciting types among the possibles
E.W. Terms
Sky bet