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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

International Nell Gwyn field heads ITV4 fare

Cheveley Park rematch: Nell Gwyn contenders Brave Anna (far side) and Roly Poly fight out the Group 1 finish last October
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Fillies take centre stage on the second day of the Craven meeting and the centrepiece is the Classic trial that is the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (3.35) which climaxes ITV4’s coverage from Newmarket.

Not only does it bring Aidan O’Brien on his first flying visit of the year to Britain but also top French trainer Andre Fabre and record-breaking French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot who combine with recent Chantilly debut maiden winner Pamplemousse.

O’Brien, favourite to be champion trainer on both sides of the Irish Sea, sends Cheveley Park heroine Brave Anna and last summer’s Cherry Hinton winner Roly Poly.

The Qipco 1,000 Guineas ante-post market is sure to be shaken up after the race with many of the runners currently lurking at 20-1 behind the O’Brien-trained favourite Rhododendron.

Dettori looking for another super seven

Frankie Dettori, who rides Daban, is after another magnificent seven having won six Nell Gwyns, including the last three, and teams up with John Gosden who has provided two of those winners including last year’s heroine Nathra.

The bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes (3.00) features a clash between last year’s Cambridgeshire victor Spark Plug over the same course and distance and this month’s Lincoln winner Bravery.

Charlie Appleby, who took the headlines at the track on Tuesday, runs last year’s Dee Stakes winner Viren’s Army, who won at Meydan recently, and Group 1 Jebel Hatta runner-up Folkswood.

The bet365 European Free Handicap (2.25) has slipped down the pecking order being a Listed race, but O’Brien has sent Whitecliffsofdover in an attempt to win the race for a first time.

The War Front colt signed off last year with a good third to National Defense in the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly last October.

ITV4 warms up with the Weatherbys General Stud Book Online Handicap (1.50), which is notable for northern trainers outnumbering the home team of just John Butler and Chris Dwyer.

Taking in the Silver Trophy from Cheltenham

It might be the dying embers of the 2016-17 jump season but ITV4 visits Cheltenham for its feature Grade 2 chase, the Matt Hampson Foundation and NSIF Silver Trophy Chase (2.40).

The 2015 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winner Village Vic, runner-up in last November’s BetVictor Gold Cup before finishing third in this season’s Caspian Caviar, heads the weights in the £50,000 feature.

Last year’s first and second, Voix D’Eau and Art Mauresque do battle again with Noel Fehily taking over from last year’s jockey Michael Legg on the Harry Fry-trained winner.

Cheltenham offers more than £140,000 in prize-money and champion trainer Paul Nicholls and this season’s leading trainer Nicky Henderson have plenty of contenders through the card.

Where to watch the action

ITV4 features the first four races at Newmarket before handing over to RUK, who cover all seven races as well as the whole Cheltenham card, while ITV4 also shows the Silver Trophy. There is also racing from Beverley on RUK in the afternoon followed by late meetings at Sedgefield and Wolverhampton, which are both covered by At The Races.

Wednesday's runners and riders

Not only does it bring Aidan O’Brien on his first flying visit of the year to Britain but also top French trainer Andre Fabre
E.W. Terms
Sky bet