What's on this week at the Cheltenham Festival
We will discover the final declarations for day two of the Cheltenham Festival, with the feature race being the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30 ). Last year's winner Energumene was beaten by Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone in the Clarence House Chase on Trials day, but all are expected to be declared in what should be a rematch to savour.
There are also declarations for Wednesday's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (1.30 ), in which Impaire Et Passe is set for a showdown with Hermes Allen, while the Grade 1 action is completed by the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase (2.10 ). Gerri Colombe heads the betting, but The Real Whacker, who has potential Gold Cup aspirations, is also prominent in the market along with Thyme Hill.
On the track, Stratford stages its first meeting of 2023 and is one of four jumps fixtures along with Plumpton, Taunton and Thurles. Wolverhampton hosts a seven-race all-weather card to complete the action.
The Cheltenham Festival, the best four days of jump racing each year, kicks off with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.30 ). Facile Vega looks to get his career back on track after defeat to Il Etait Temps last time, but both will face a strong challenge from Marine Nationale.
The feature race of the day is the Unibet Champion Hurdle (3.30 ), for which Constitution Hill is a general 1-3 favourite to maintain his unbeaten record for Nicky Henderson. He faces his biggest challenge yet in State Man, a three-time Grade 1 winner this season.
The Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle (4.10 ) promises to be a cracker, with Champion Hurdle heroines Honeysuckle and Epatante taking on last year's winner Marie's Rock, whose connections decided against a tilt at the Stayers'.
The other Grade 1 on the card is the Sporting Life Arkle (2.10 ), in which the long-anticipated rematch between El Fabiolo and Jonbon takes place. Both are unbeaten over fences, with Jonbon bidding to confirm the form of last season's Grade 1 hurdle victory at Aintree's Grand National meeting when he prevailed by a neck.
Declarations for Thursday's racing at Cheltenham will also be finalised, featuring the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle (3.30 ), Ryanair Chase (2.50 ) and Turners Novices' Chase (1.30 ).
Away from Cheltenham, Brian Hughes heads to Sedgefield for six rides, where one winner will move the two-time champion jockey to 150 for the season. Southwell and Newcastle stage all-weather cards.
Edwardstone, Energumene and Editeur Du Gite are set to clash in a hotly contested running of the Champion Chase (3.30 ). The second day of Cheltenham features two further Grade 1s including the Ballymore (1.30 ), in which Impaire Et Passe and Hermes Allen put their unbeaten rules records on the line.
The Brown Advisory (2.10 ) sees Gerri Colombe bid for a third Grade 1 win in a row but The Real Whacker, who has won both of his chase starts at Cheltenham, could provide stiff opposition. Willie Mullins also launches his annual assault on the Weatherbys Champion Bumper (5.30 ), a race he has won four times in the last five years.
Declarations for the final day of the festival will also emerge, most notably for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.30 ).
The Stayers' Hurdle (3.30 ) has changed complexion through the season but the Charles Byrnes-trained Blazing Khal is the one to beat in Thursday's Cheltenham Festival feature. Flooring Porter bids to become the first horse since the brilliant Big Buck's to win the race for three years running, while Teahupoo and Cleeve Hurdle scorer Gold Tweet are interesting opposition.
Allaho's omission from the Ryanair Chase (2.50 ) blew the race wide open until his mantle at the head of the betting was picked up by Shishkin, after he cruised clear of the Ascot Chase field in a stunning comeback victory. He looks an imperious favourite, while Mighty Potter is equally dominant at the top of the market for the Turners (1.30 ).
This year's Mares' Novices' Hurdle (4.50 ) is named in memory of Jack de Bromhead and we are likely to see a potential star in Luccia, who has followed up her two bumper wins with a couple of slick hurdling successes.
Hexham is the other jumps meeting on Thursday. There is also all-weather action at Dundalk, Southwell and Chelmsford in the evening.
The Cheltenham Festival reaches its conclusion, with the feature race being the Gold Cup (3.30 ). Galopin Des Champs has been the talking horse this season and will look to prove his stamina alongside King George winner Bravemansgame. Last year's winner A Plus Tard, Noble Yeats and Stattler could help shape an enthralling running.
In the JCB Triumph Hurdle (1.30 ), the Willie Mullins trio of Blood Destiny, Lossiemouth and Gala Marceau look to have the race to themselves, while Corbetts Cross could take on Embassy Gardens and Three Card Brag in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (2.50 ).
Fakenham and Doncaster host jumps meetings on Friday, while Newcastle and Wolverhampton have all-weather evening meetings.
Uttoxeter headlines the Saturday action with its biggest card of the season. The Boulton Group Midlands Grand National Handicap Chase (3.00 ), won by Potters Corner, Tuckers Lodge, Time To Get Up and Screaming Colours in recent years, is the feature. Guetapan Collonges, Kitty's Light and Iwilldoit could all feature.
Fontwell, Kempton and Newcastle also host strong jumps meetings, with the day completed by Wolverhampton's all-weather card.
An exciting week of racing in Britain comes to a close with jumps meetings at Chepstow and Carlisle. In Ireland, the Grade 3 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase is the feature race of the day.
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