ITV Racing preview: Can anyone stop Epatante in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle?
We take a look at the best of Saturday’s races
Racing fans are in for a treat this weekend as we look forward to a feast of action.
The ITV cameras will be back at Newbury for Day Two of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. Who will triumph in this year’s Ladbrokes Trophy?
And there are also two unmissable races up at Newcastle, including the iconic Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Ahead of the action, we’ve outlined the key runners and riders in the biggest races.
13:50 The Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle Race
14:25 The Ladbrokes Gerry Feilden Intermediate Handicap Hurdle Race (Listed)
15:00 The Ladbrokes Trophy Steeple Chase (Grade 3)
15:35 The Ladbrokes Handicap Steeple Chase
14:05 The Fighting Fifth Hurdle Race (Grade 1)
15:15 The Rehearsal Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed)
All eyes will be on hot favourite Epatante, who won the Champion Hurdle on her last outing. Aidan Coleman’s ride has won five of her last six starts over hurdles and seems to improve every race.
Cornerstone Lad is defending his crown after masterminding a shock win in this race last year. He won on his last flat appearance three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Sceau Royal has a new lease of life after undergoing a wind op. The eight-year-old has impressed over hurdles this season, winning the Welsh Champion Handicap and the Elite Hurdle.
This race was won by Epatante last year and Nicky Henderson will be hoping Marie’s Rock can follow in her footsteps. She won all three of her races last term and could be even sharper following a wind op.
She’ll face stiff competition from Botox Has, who won at Cheltenham on his return last month. He’ll be looking to impress on his handicap debut.
Sebastopol will be keen to add to his two handicap wins last season. He’s relatively unexposed but could suit the longer trip.
Callum Bewley’s ride Aye Right is unexposed at this distance but has steadily improved as a chaser. He performed when finishing third behind rival Vinndication in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
Secret Investor has hit the ground running since having a wind op and he comfortably won a Chepstow handicap by seven lengths last month. He could go well here despite a 6lb penalty.
After finishing runner-up in this race last year, The Conditional is looking to go one better. He finished last season strongly, beating Kildisart by a neck in the Ultima at Cheltenham.
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