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Ones To Watch On Cheltenham Trials Day

A cracking days racing lies in prospect at Cheltenham on Saturday with a number of Cheltenham Trials to get stuck into as well the huge box office attraction which comes in the form of the brilliant Big Bucks who will be running in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle. Here are a few to keep an eye on ahead of the Festival which is just over six weeks away now.

Sadler's Risk
© Racehorse Photos

Sadler's Risk

In the 12.55, JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial over 2m1f, Baby Mix trained by Tom George will be looking to confirm the form he showed when winning the last JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial over course and distance back in December. In that race he finished a very impressive seven lengths clear of the 2/7 odds on favourite, Hinterland from the Paul Nicholls stable, who opposes again in this. Another big fancy for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is the Phillip Hobbs trained Sadler’s Risk who looked a very speedy sort when winning on his hurdling debut in the Home of Betting Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park last month. He won that race by an impressive 17 lengths on good ground and although very green, he would have to be regarded as a main player in this race. As too should Grumeti from the Alan King stable, Hinterland from the Nicholls yard and then there is Donald McCain’s improving Hollow Tree a Grade 1 winner last time out.

The Murphy Group Chase over 2m5f at 2:05 sees one or two old hands take their chance, including top weight Poquelin from the Paul Nicholls stable as well as his stablemates Woolcombe Abbey and Aerial. They will be up against amongst others The Giant Bolster who won this race 12 months ago, the useful I’msingingtheblues and the 12 year old, Tamarinbleu from the David Pipe stable in a race that may throw up an outsider in the Ryanair Chase.

The Argento Chase is the feature race on trials day and despite the withdrawal of the David Pipe trained Grands Crus, this race still has a very open look to it with several in with chances. The likely favourite will be the Phillip Hobbs Captain Chris, last season’s winner of the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Festival. He will be up against a much improved Time For Rupert plus the 2010 & 2011 Hennessy Gold Cup winners, Diamond Harry and Carruthers. Tidal Bay and The Minack will be interesting runners for the Ditcheat stable, while there are some strong positive whispers concerning the form of Neil Mulholland’s Midnight Chase in a race that connections will be hoping for late a Gold Cup contender to emerge.

Nicky Henderson’s Broadbackbob could be a star in the making although he will be carrying top weight of 11-12 should he run in the competitive looking Neptune Investment Management Hurdle over 2m 4f at 3:10. Twice a winner from two starts over sticks this season, including victory over the highly regarded Cinders And Ashes, the current second favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Festival in March and a win in this would see Broadbackbob himself cut for the Neptune, for which he is currently a 20/1 chance.

Big Bucks will be an unbackable favourite to win the Cleeve Hurdle at 3:40, a race he won in 2009. Should he win and there is little doubt that he will, he will be stretch his unbeaten sequence to 15 and will be well prepared for his bid to become the first ever horse to win four World Hurdles at the Festival.

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