Day two of The Showcase at Cheltenham tomorrow, Saturday, October 27, has an excellent seven-race card featuring two £60,000 handicap chases and the £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle.
Talented chaser Bigmartre (11st 11lb) has been a leading light for Sparsholt trainer Harry Whittington and the good partnership with jockey Harry Bannister continues in the £60,000 Randox Health Handicap Chase (3.10pm, seven runners) over two miles.
The seven-year-old son of Montmartre won three of his five starts last term, which included a length and three-quarter victory in the G2 Future Champion Novices' Chase at Ayr in April.
Good ground is an important factor for Whittington's charge, who ran well before tiring to finish seventh on soft ground in the two and a half-mile G1 JLT Novices' Chase at The Festival™ presented by Magners in March.
Whittington said: "Bigmartre is in good form and this race has been the plan.
"Good ground is very important for him. He ran a very good race for a long way in the JLT until his stamina gave out. That race was on soft ground, so we will try and stick to racing on good.
"His jumping is one of his biggest assets and he will love the jumping test. I am happy with him.
"As well as the ground, he is at his best when running fresh so we will give him a few weeks between his races and I think he could maybe develop into a horse who could run in a Grand Annual at The Festival - that could really suit him.
"We will campaign him over two miles on galloping tracks or over two and a half miles on sharp courses throughout the season as they both seem to suit.
"Bigmartre is such a popular horse in the yard and has been a real flag-bearer for us. We are looking forward to getting his season started."
A classy field also includes last year's winner Foxtail Hill (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies, 11st 1lb) and consistent 10-year-old Duke Of Navan (Nicky Richards/Ryan Day (3), 11st 7lb)).
Modus (Barry Geraghty, 11st 9lb), a G2-winning novice over fences last season, is one of two runners for Paul Nicholls. He is joined by stablemate Tommy Silver (Harry Cobden, 10st 13lb).
The line-up is completed by top-weight Vosne Romanee (Dr Richard Newland/Sean Bowen, 11st 12lb) and Lillington (Colin Tizzard/Tom Scudamore, 10st), both dual winners over fences this season.
The 2017 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco (Jonjo O'Neill/Barry Geraghty, 11st 12lb) heads 17 runners for the opening £60,000 'Matchbook Betting Exchange' Handicap Chase (2.00pm) over three miles and a furlong, his first start since having a wind operation.
His owner J P McManus has two other runners; likely favourite For Good Measure (Philip Hobbs/Tom O'Brien, 10st 1lb) and Above Board (Jonjo O'Neill/Aidan Coleman, 10st 2lb). For Good Measure's trainer Philip Hobbs has an excellent record in this race, winning five of the last 11 renewals.
Gloucestershire trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is doubly represented by Cogry (Sam Twiston-Davies, 10st 4lb), who is bidding for back-to-back victories in the race after a decisive four-length success in 2017, and Calett Mad (Daryl Jacob, 10st 11lb), who also won at The Showcase last year when taking the three-mile Randox Health Novices' Hurdle.
Neil Mulholland, based near Bath, has two eye-catching contenders in Doing Fine (Leighton Aspell, 10st 4lb), who rounded off last season by taking fourth in the Scottish Grand National, and Kerry National fifth Shantou Village (Robert Dunne, 10st 13lb).
Possible Unibet Champion Hurdle candidate Redicean (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) concedes weight all round in the £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.35pm, six runners), staged over two miles for four-year-olds.
Redicean has won three of his four starts over hurdles by a combined distance of 27 lengths, with his only defeat coming when sixth on testing ground in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners.
The opposition tomorrow includes G1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle runner-up Gumball (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson) and Irish raider Pearl Of The West (John McConnell/Sean Bowen), who defeated highly-regarded mare Pakora on his penultimate start.
Elsewhere on the card, a maximum field of 20 face the starter in the £25,000 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.45pm) over three miles. Horses who finish in the first six will be eligible to enter for the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival™ presented by Magners in March.
Second-season novice chaser Movewiththetimes (Paul Nicholls/Barry Geraghty) is one of five runners in the £25,000 Move Over To Matchbook Novices' Chase (4.55pm) over just shy of two and a half miles. All four of his chase starts came at Cheltenham last season, with his best effort being second to Finian's Oscar at The November Meeting.
Stiff competition will be provided by Irish challenger Cubomania (Gordon Elliott IRE/Richard Johnson), Monbeg Legend (Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville) and Graasten (Gary Moore/Joshua Moore), who have all triumphed over fences this season.
The action is completed by the Randox Health Novices' Hurdle (4.20pm, seven runners) and the concluding Jockey Club Ownership Syndicate Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (14 runners) at 5.30pm.
The Showcase gets underway today with a seven-race programme starting at 2.00pm.
The going at Cheltenham is Good (watered).
Record prize money
The Showcase offers record prize money of £370,400 across the two days in 2018 - a boost of £51,400 (16 per cent) on the £319,000 in 2017. The increase is part of the £8-million cash injection announced by The Jockey Club in December of last year.
Free admission for accompanied children
Accompanied children aged under 18 gain FREE entry to the racecourse.
Ownership Syndicate horses paraded on day two
The three horses owned by the Cheltenham & South West region of The Jockey Club Syndicate -
Hes No Trouble (Kim Bailey),
Carolines Charm (Neil Mulholland) and
Diamond River (Nicky Henderson) - will be paraded at 1.15pm in the paddock on day two of The Showcase, Saturday, October 27.
SoGlos Showcase Zone - The Centaur
The Showcase will host the 'SoGlos Showcase Zone', celebrating and featuring some of Gloucestershire and the West's most well-respected food, drink and craft producers, in The Centaur
The SoGlos Showcase Zone is the perfect location to indulge in unique shopping, interactive demonstrations, as well as quality food and drink from across the region - not to mention meet the SoGlos team - at what is set to become a real autumnal highlight in Gloucestershire's social calendar.
Gloucestershire's leading lifestyle media, SoGlos has worked closely with Cheltenham Racecourse to promote world-class events in the online magazine for many years.
Attending in 2018:
Movers and Shakers
Bespoke custom mobile bars, with over two decades of hospitality and bar experience. Movers and Shakers are experts at providing custom, mobile bars with highly trained bar staff.
Polo Gin produces 100% organic gins certified by the Soil Association alongside being vegan-friendly/gluten free. Steeped in history, this proudly British, quadruple distilled, handcrafted, small batch Polo Gin uses only the best organic ingredients to create some of the most flavoursome yet smoothest of gins on the market.
The Pork Peddler
Pork Peddler' s philosophy is to use top quality local free-range meat, cooking it low and slow using smoke and fire to create unique barbecue flavours. Selling hot dogs, pulled pork, brisket and halloumi burgers.
A stylish and unique pop-up bar, stocking creative and tasty refreshments that will tantalise everyone's tastebuds.
Creating creative, specialist and bespoke metalwork ranging from sculptures, railings and art.
The Indian Guy
Selling authentic Indian street food including vegetarian and vegan options and Indian snacks, featuring both hot and cold dishes.
Unique and quirky, the Gloucester Studio and Pyromaniac Chef brand tell a story behind every food dish.
Farmers Finest Scotch Egg
Sue & Eddie Farmer welcome you to try and purchase their famous scotch eggs, deli produce and freshly made sandwiches & coffee.
Cake and Sugar Boutique
Cake and Sugarcraft Boutique have been creating beautiful cakes in Cheltenham for many years. We create wedding cakes, birthday cakes, unusual designs made to order and cupcakes in Cheltenham and the wider Gloucestershire area. We also offer popular cake making and decorating lessons.
The Curry Corner
With almost 40 years' experience, the Curry Corner has a choice of dishes, always using fresh ingredients and offering a variety of flavours.
At Windyridge, we have a flair for creating cheese flavour fusions from around the world using the finest ingredients and selecting quality cheeses from across our region. Over here in the West Country of England, we've historically always liked a hands-on approach to fine artisan cheese making.
At Cotswold Riding for the Disabled, we believe that life is about what you CAN do. Our riders all have a disability whether that's physical, mental or a learning difficulty, but we are here to help them achieve the very best they can whatever the disability or whatever the age.
Furniture maker Steve Mcllveen uses attention to detail to produce beautifully crafted gifts and homeware products. The aim of Steve's workshop is to be as eco-friendly as possible. It is powered by 100% renewable energy and all waste production material is used by a local visitor attraction to power their compost toilet. All of Steve's products are made from sustainably sourced FSC approved timbers and are finished with natural oils.
Crafting intricate pebble mosaics using colours and shapes, Sue Rew can make a unique garden feature which boasts individuality.
Willow Therapy Salt Lamps
Himalayan salt lamps are decorative lights for your home that emit a warming pink glow.
The Showcase 2018 Race Programme
Friday, October 26
Time Race Distance Prize Money
2:00 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2m 5f £20,000
2:35 squareintheair.com Novices' Chase 1m 7f 199y £25,000
3:10 Brandon Hill Capital Handicap Hurdle (0-140) 2m 5f £15,400
3:45 'Matchbook Time To Move Over' Novices' Chase 3m 80y £25,000
4:20 Foundation Developments Ltd Maiden Hurdle 2m 87y £15,000
4:55 Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase (0-125) 3m 1f £15,000
5:30 'Matchbook Betting Podcast' Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-140) 2m 87y £15,000
Saturday, October 27
Time Race Distance Prize Money
2.00 'Matchbook Betting Exchange' Handicap Chase 3m 1f £60,000
2:35 Masterson Holdings Hurdle 2m 87y £40,000
3:10 Randox Health Handicap Chase 1m 7f 199y £60,000
3:45 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) 2m 7f 208y £25,000
4:20 Randox Health Novices' Hurdle 2m 7f 208y £15,000
4:55 'Move Over To Matchbook' Novices' Chase 2m 3f 166y £25,000
5:30 The Jockey Club Ownership Syndicate Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race 2m 87y £15,000
Meeting Total £370,400