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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Where to watch as Punchestown and Sandown top big day

Altior: the star attraction on the final day of the jumps season
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The Flat is now well under way but before it truly takes hold there is time for one last hurrah for the winter game as Sandown plays host to its bet365 Jumps Finale meeting.

As part of the day, there is a parade of some of the biggest names of the season for racegoers to enjoy but arguably the biggest name of them all is actually racing.

Altior is clearly the star attraction in the Grade 1 bet365 Celebration Chase and it will be a major shock if he cannot cap a wonderful campaign by claiming the £71,187.50 first prize and put the cherry on the cake that is trainer Nicky Henderson's championship victory.

Supporting the feature is a pair of Grade 2 contests, with old favourite Menorah in the bet365 Oaksey Chase and The New One in the bet365 Select Hurdle after ITV's broadcast finishes.

With the Punchestown festival reaching its climax and Flat action from Haydock, Ripon, Leicester, Doncaster and Wolverhampton, there is plenty to get stuck into.

When does it all start?

It's bad news if you have grown to like the later 10am start of The Opening Show compared to its old Channel 4 counterpart The Morning Line, with ITV4's coverage of cycling's Tour de Yorkshire bringing it forward to 8am.

Oli Bell is the host and jockey Harry Cobden, who has three big rides for Paul Nicholls in the afternoon, is the studio guest as they set the scene for the day's racing.

Racing UK (Sky channel 432) has its Mark Your Card show available for free at noon before its live coverage of Sandown and Haydock starts at 1pm.

At 1.30pm ITV Racing kicks off, this week on the main channel and not ITV4 – or indeed ITV3 as it was on Friday.

Meanwhile on At The Races (Sky channel 415), Raceday Live starts at noon, with coverage from Punchestown, Ripon and Leicester in the afternoon before Doncaster and Wolverhampton take over in the evening.

Which races are ITV showing?

ITV's coverage comprises four Sandown contests, with a pair of Flat races from Haydock providing the support.

The first of the six races comes at 1.50, a juvenile handicap hurdle, while the Oaksey Chase at 2.25 is sandwiched between a pair of 188Bet-sponsored handicaps, over 1m and 7f respectively, at Haydock.

Altior fans will be waiting for the 3.00, when the Racing Post Arkle winner struts his stuff again, before ITV's coverage draws to a close with the Grade 3 bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 3.35.

What about the other two channels?

RUK is the place to be for every race from Sandown and Haydock, while there is the not insignificant matter of the final day of Punchestown over on ATR.

There are a pair of Grade 1 contests to look forward to, with Apple's Jade looking to become the latest to double up from Cheltenham in the Mares Champion Hurdle at 3.50.

At 4.25, the Triumph Hurdle second, third and fifth, Mega Fortune, Bapaume and Landofhopeandglory, do battle again in the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle.

With some fascinating handicaps to get stuck into as well, an amazing week at Punchestown looks set to finish with a flourish.

What if I want more days off next week than just Monday?

The Scoop6 could be your best bet. As much as £500,000 is expected to be on offer for this weekend's challenge, which is made up of races from Sandown and Haydock, not all on ITV.

To bag the big one, you will need to find the winners of the following: 1.30 Haydock, 1.50 Sandown, 2.40 Haydock, 3.35 Sandown, 4.45 Sandown, 5.20 Sandown.

It's bad news if you like the later 10am start of The Opening Show with ITV4's coverage of the Tour De Yorkshire bringing it forward to 8am

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