The clock is ticking down to the opening day of The Cheltenham Festival and there will be plenty of chances to assess some of the leading contenders for The Festival with Nicky Henderson's leading Champion Hurdle contenders Darlan and Grandouet entered in Sandown's Contenders Hurdle on Saturday alongside 2012 Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby however trainer Harry Fry has stated his stable star is a unlikely starter due to the likely hood of heavy ground.
Captain Conan (Pictured on the left) yet another leading Festival contender from the Nicky Henderson stable is a intended starter in The Silly Isles Novice Chase which has been reopened after only seven horses declared at the 5 day stage for this grade 1 contest.
Also on the card is The Betfred Masters Handicap Chase formally known as The Gainsborough Chase and won three times by the great Desert Orchid but in recent years has lost its appeal as a Cheltenham Gold Cup trial but none the less is still always a competitive handicap and among the entries is 2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs.
Ffos Las stages its biggest day of the season and the course owner Dai Walters will be hoping his own horse Tamerko Emery can follow in the footsteps of his 2011 winner Oscar Whisky in landing The Welsh Champion Hurdle that will be run under new conditions as a limited handicap hurdle over 2m4f.
The days other feature The West Wales National which has attracted several possibles for the Grand National with Ballabriggs (also entered at Sandown) and Cappa Blue trained in Wales by Evan Williams but will require the ground to dry out before being committed to the race.
Musselburgh stages its best NH card of the season and after the loss of so much racing in recent weeks this very progressive track has not for the 1st time shown great initiative and added a £10000 Novice Chase to the card that and has been rewarded with a high class entry for this contest headed by one of the most popular horses in training Overturn.