Day two of The Showcase meeting, Saturday, 26 October, sees £240,000 of prize money on offer at the Home Of Jump Racing and there are 138 entries for an excellent seven-race card.
The opening £60,000 "Matchbook Betting Exchange" Handicap Chase (2.00pm) over an extended three miles and a furlong has attracted 27 entries. Previous winners include Cheltenham specialist Balthazar King, trained by Philip Hobbs, who landed the spoils three years on the bounce in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was eight-time winner at the track.
This year's running could feature the Dan Skelton-trained Cobra De Mai, who was an emphatic 13-length winner over Rocky's Treasure (Kim Bailey) at The April Meeting. Skelton may also be represented by Midlands Grand National third Get On The Yager and Rowland Meyrick Chase runner-up Captain Chaos.
The Lodge Hill handler said: "Cobra De Mai has summered well and he is going to start his season in the three-mile handicap chase, the first race on the second day of The Showcase.
"He won at Cheltenham in April and has ended up with a high rating of 153 as a result. I would be delighted if he could win off his current, but the handicapper might have to relent a bit.
"He is a progressive horse and hopefully there is more to come from him this season. Captain Chaos and Get On The Yager are possibles."
Cobra De Mai
The contest could also include 2017 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup second Minella Rocco (Jonjo O'Neill) along with Vintage Clouds (Sue Smith). Vintage Clouds was an excellent length and a quarter-second in the G3 Ultima Handicap Chase at The Festival™ presented by Magners and was an early-faller when strongly fancied for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April.
The £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.35pm, 13 entries) boasts a roll of honour featuring dual Randox Health Grand National winner Tiger Roll (2014) and subsequent G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase scorer Dodging Bullets (2012). Irish trainer John McConnell captured the 2018 renewal with Pearl Of The West and he could be represented by the unbeaten Construct and Hannon, who was placed in Graded company at Naas last season.
Other possibles include Couer Sublime (Gordon Elliott IRE) and Quel Destin (Paul Nicholls), who finished second and fifth respectively to Pentland Hills in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™ in March.
The £60,000 Randox Health Handicap Chase (3.10pm, 1m 7f 199y) is one of the feature races of The Showcase and has attracted 18 excellent entries. Recent winners have included the Fox Nortonin 2016. Fox Norton established himself as a top-class chaser, finishing second to Special Tiara in the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival™ before landing G1 contests at Aintree and Punchestown. This year's field could feature Graded winner Saint Calvados (Harry Whittington), who finished seventh in this year's Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. Kerry Lee's evergreen 12-year-old Gino Trial was successful at The International in 2017 and also finished second in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase at The Festival™, whilst Dr Richard Newland's Mcgroarty is targeting a fourth victory in as many starts, following a smooth success at Kelso earlier this month.
The concluding Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (5.30pm, £15,000, 2m 87y, 28 entries) has proved a race to follow in recent years. The roll of honour includes subsequent G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander (2006) and G1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero Moon Racer (2014). Local trainer Fergal O'Brien has taken out the last two renewals and could rely on Butte Montana, an unraced four-year-old son of Presenting.
Other interesting entries include The Newest One for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The Oscar gelding is a sibling to the stable's multiple G1 scorer The New One, whilst the Olly Murphy-trained Linelee King runs in the silks ofDiana Whateley whose colours were carried to victory in 2008 with Philip Hobbs' According To Dick. Linelee King made a big impression when winning a point-to-point at Tinahely by eight lengths in February.
The going at Cheltenham is currently Good to Soft, Good in places with a mostly dry week forecast.
Away from the track, the racecourse will stage its first Cheltoberfest - Cheltenham's twist on the ever-popular Oktoberfest.
The ticketed event takes place in The Centaur over both days of The Showcase and includes live German and Bavarian Oompah music from The Bierkeller Boys, a range of local real ales and Magners Cider, plus tips from a racing tipster before racing commences.
More information can be found at:
Throughout the day on Saturday, 26 October, there will be a variety of entertainment and demonstrations in The Parade Ring, available in the Club/Tattersalls Enclosure, including:
*A demonstration from the Riding for the Disabled.
*Learn about racehorse anatomy with Rachel Keeble.
*Matt Nicholls (Kim Bailey's assistant) will be talking through how to prepare a racehorse for a day at the races.
*Josh Stacey from the Racing Post will be on hand to provide a tipster talk ahead of racing.
*South West Syndicate Horses will be on parade between racing, a perfect opportunity to find out more and become part of our Syndicate - further details are available at:
As well as entertainment and demonstrations in the Parade Ring, there are stalls and stands to see in the Tattersalls Sales Arena located in the Club/Tattersalls Enclosure, including:
*Representatives from the British Racing School will be available to answer any questions for those that are interested in working in the horseracing industry. More information is available at https://brs.org.uk/
*Retraining of Racehorses will be educating racegoers on a racehorse's life after their career in racing.
*Racing to School delivers free outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses, studs and trainers' yards across the country. They will be around to teach you how to ride a racehorse with demonstrations and the opportunity for you to have a go by riding the equisizer.
*Matt from Beltane Forge will be showcasing his talent with a live demonstration straight from the forge.