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The Week Ahead
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The week ahead: Cheltenham preps continue while valuable targets loom

There is a double-header of valuable staying chases on Saturday, with the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase and Eider Handicap Chase taking place at Kempton and Newcastle respectively. 

All the UK and Irish action can be followed via our Sports Live Streaming platform and here's a day-by-day look ahead to the racing week in store from 20th February to 26th February.

Monday 20th February

The week begins with jumps racing from Carlisle (1.15-4.25) and Lingfield (1.30-4.45) in the afternoon, before evening all-weather action from Newcastle (5.00-8.00).

Jonjo O’Neill leads the top trainer standings at Carlisle this season and the Jackdaws Castle man has two runners on the Monday card. He saddles Merveillo in the 1.45, while at 3.15, C&D winner Morning Spirit runs in a handicap chase over 3m. 

Kevin Brogan is on board both of those horses at the northern racecourse.

Tuesday 21st February

Racing on Tuesday comes from Market Rasen (1.45-4.45) and Taunton (2.00-4.30) over the jumps, with Southwell (5.00-8.30) providing the evening entertainment on the all-weather.

The class two handicap hurdle over the extended 2m trip is the feature race at Taunton at 3.00. It has attracted a strong field including former Greatwood Hurdle winner West Cork, Silent Revolution from Paul Nicholls’ yard and C&D winner Poseidon for David Pipe.

Wednesday 22nd February

Five meetings take place in the UK and Ireland on Wednesday. Jumps racing comes from Doncaster (1.15-4.45), Punchestown (1.40-5.10) and Ludlow (2.00-5.22) alongside Newcastle's (1.35-5.05) all-weather action in the afternoon, while Kempton (5.00-8.00) offers the evening fare on the polytrack.

The Grade Three Quevega Mares’ Hurdle is the highlight on a strong card from Punchestown. 

Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins has entered two of his highest-rated mares in Brandy Love and Shewearsitswell, and this may be their final prep run before the Cheltenham Festival. 

There is also an entry for former top-class Flat raider Princess Zoe, who scored over this C&D on her hurdles debut. If she lines up here, it will be a tough test for the former Prix du Cadran winner.

Thursday 23rd February

Sedgefield (1.00-4.25) gets things underway in the UK and Ireland on Thursday. Huntingdon (1.40-4.35), Southwell (AW) (1.50-5.15), Thurles (1.55-5.20) and Newcastle (AW) (5.00-8.00) then follow.

The Grade Three Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle is the most valuable prize across the day. 

The 2m4½f contest features two of Gordon Elliott’s talented hurdlers. Two-time winner Landrake is the highest-rated horse in the field, but he needs to bounce back from a fall at Navan last time out. 

His stablemate Sa Fureur is bidding to complete a hat-trick following two victories at Punchestown.

Related Horse Racing News

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Cheltenham Festival: A look at Henry De Bromhead's Festival runners

Cheltenham Festival: A look at Willie Mullins' Festival runners

Cheltenham Festival: Princess Zoe

Friday 24th February

Lingfield (AW) (1.20-4.25), Exeter (1.40-4.50), Warwick (2.00-4.40) and Wolverhampton (AW) (5.10-8.15) all feature on Friday’s schedule.

The Devon National takes place at Exeter at 3.15, with the marathon contest run over 3m6½f. 

Former Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase winner Copperhead is likely to carry top weight on his back for Joe Tizzard. 

Recent Lingfield winner D’Jango, the Jane Williams-trained Favori De Sivola, a horse who scored over this C&D earlier in the campaign, and Venetia Williams’ Fuji Flight could all also take part in the race.

Saturday 25th February

There is racing from Lingfield (AW) (12.55-5.00), Newcastle (1.10-5.15), Chepstow (1.22-4.52), Kempton (1.50-5.20) and Chelmsford (5.10-8.10) on a busy Saturday this week. 

Kempton, Lingfield and Newcastle all feature on ITV Racing.

The Coral Trophy Handicap Chase is a valuable premier handicap on Kempton’s card, and it takes place at 3.00. 

Trainer Christian Williams won the race 12 months ago with Cap Du Nord and the pair are bidding to replicate that success. Frodon, Annsam and Remastered are some of the horses who will be taking on the 2022 winner at Kempton.

The Eider Chase at Newcastle is one of the longest races on the National Hunt calendar. The 4m1½f contest at 3.25 will be a big stamina test again. Williams won this race with Win My Wings last year and he will be hoping Kitty’s Light can give him the top prize this time around.

On the AW at Lingfield, the Winter Derby is scheduled for 2.05. Former Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North has an entry this year for John and Thady Gosden.

Sunday 26th February

Jumps racing on Sunday comes from Fontwell (1.30-4.30), Hereford (1.50-4.50) and Naas (2.10-5-10).

The card from Naas includes the Grade Two Johnstone Novice Hurdle, which has been won five times by Willie Mullins, including in 2016 with star mare Annie Power. 

The schedule at the Irish course also includes the Grade Three Newlands Steeplechase and Nas Na Riogh Novice Handicap Steeplechase.

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