Cheltenham Festival Trials Day

As part of the three-year deal with Cheltenham Racecourse to sponsor the 2 mile 5 furlong Handicap Chase on Festival Trials Day, is proud to continue supporting a key race in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival.

Formerly known as the Murphy Group Handicap Chase, the race was inaugurated in 2003 and apart from when abandoned due to frost in 2006 has proven to be a popular event at Prestbury Park over the years. Champion Jockey AP McCoy was aboard Lady Cricket to win the first running, and has been joined by top jockeys such as Graham Lee, Daryl Jacob, Tom Scudamore, Aidan Coleman and Richard Johnson in tasting succcess in subsequent renewals. Both Philip Hobbs and Bob Buckler share the record for most wins as a trainer with 2 each, the latter’s horse The Sawyer registering the only back-to-back victories to date in 2009 and 2010.

Cheltenham Trials Day Report

On Cheltenham Trials Day on the 28th January, the Philip Hobbs trained Defi Du Seuil won the opening JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle in good style, beating Rainbow Dreamer by an impressive nine length margin.

This talented horse is now a 9/4 (3.25) favourite for the Triumph Hurdle and has a big chance at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival in March.

Royal Vacation continued his upward curve in the Timeform Handicap Chase for Colin Tizzard in the 12.35pm race, setting him up for a possible tilt at the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival; a race he is best priced at 16/1 for and has big each-way claims.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Foxtail Hill produced a great front running performance in the following handicap chase and is now amongst the favourites for the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase, while the Willie Mullins trained Un De Sceaux is a worthy favourite for the Ryanair Chase after a fluent success over Uxizandre on Cheltenham Trials Day.

Later on in the Neptune Novices Trial and the Cleeve Hurdle, Wholestone and current Stayers Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry cemented their claims for the Festival with solid staying performances and both horses will head into spring with Grade 1 winning aspirations.