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One trainer, one jockey, one horse and one race to watch at Cheltenham on Friday

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Trainer

Dan Skelton heads to Cheltenham with three live chances and a few punters may even be fancying the treble for the Warwickshire stable.

Third Time Lucki is among the favourites for the 2m novice chase (2.30) on his first start since a wind op and he was last seen finishing fourth in a Grade 1 at Aintree.

Faivoir, who is 2-2 at the course, also lines up in a 2m4f novice chase (3.40) off the back of a victory over fences at Uttoxeter at the start of the month. The six-year-old is intriguing having won eight of his 12 races including the maiden hurdle on this card 12 months ago.

Four-year-old John Locke completes the trio. He makes plenty of appeal dropped in class for the 2m½f maiden hurdle (5.25) won by Faivoir last year. The youngest horse in the 14-runner field is very interesting having finished fourth in Grade 1s on his only two starts over hurdles.

Jockey

Sean Bowen has had just three winners from 45 rides at Cheltenham in the last five seasons but goes into Friday with a great book of rides.

He teams up with Irish trainer John McConnell to partner Bardenstown Lad in the 3m novice hurdle (3.05). McConnell won the race last season and this runner boasts some good form.

Any News: one of five rides for Sean Bowen

Bowen starts the day aboard the Neil Mulholland-trained Any News who has obvious claims in the 2m novice chase (2.30) after his narrow defeat on his chase debut at Warwick.

The jockey's three remaining rides are for local trainer Martin Keighley and Back On The Lash (3.40) looks the pick of that trio, which also includes Found On (4.15) and Brorson (5.25).

Horse

Things have not been straightforward for Siruh Du Lac since winning at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 for Nick Williams and Lizzie Kelly. He was pulled up on his first start the following November, then fell and unseated in his next two races.

Siruh Du Lac: 2019 Festival hero goes hurdling

David Pipe is now attempting to restart his career by going novice hurdling while it is also Siruh Du Lac's second start since having wind surgery.

Even though he is rated 9lb lower over hurdles then fences, he remains the highest rated in Friday's line-up (3.05) and would be a popular winner should he bounce back to form.

Race

The 2m4f handicap chase (3.40) looks a particularly strong heat with the aforementioned Faivoir expected to head the betting.

Annual Invictus, who was behind Faivoir at Uttoxeter, gets an 8lb pull this time while Back On The Lash boasts plenty of experience as he attempts for a fourth chasing win.

Danny Kirwan was last seen winning by 14 lengths over hurdles while Torn And Frayed should not be ruled out either.

Read more on Cheltenham:

'Four went on to run in Grade 1s' - five pointers at Cheltenham on Saturday

Here are three trainers to watch out for at Cheltenham this weekend


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The youngest horse in the 14-runner field offers interest having finished fourth in Grade 1s on his only two starts over hurdles.
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