The Cheltenham Open Meeting gets underway on Friday (12th) and runs through to Sunday (14th). The highlight of the meeting is the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase worth £150,000 and run over 2 miles 4 furlongs on Saturday. Long Run (pictured) and Great Endeavour are both strongly fancied for this race. After the weight allowance for his very capable amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, Long Run will carry 11 stone 1 pound. His connections rate him highly and he carries an entry in the William Hill King George VI Chase on Boxing Day for which the bookies already make him second favourite in the ante-post market. He should win this race on Saturday off this weight if fit and well.
The Glenfardas Cross Country Chase run over 3 miles 7 furlongs is the centre piece on Friday and here old Joe Lively is an intended runner for trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Joe Tizzard. They also have Cue Card in the Cheltenham Collection Sharp Novices Hurdle over 2 miles. Both horses have shown they like Cheltenham and both could run very well.
It will be interesting to see Time for Rupert make his chasing debut. He will run in the Steel Plate and Sections Novices Chase over 2 miles 4 furlongs on Friday.
The Greatwood Handicap Hurdle worth £100,000.00 is the centre piece of Sundays card which looks a bit of a minefield for those wanting a punt.
After this meeting all roads will lead to the Cheltenham Festival in March 2011.