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Friday's Sport – Cheltenham roars back into action

The Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham gets under way on Friday as a new season begins at the Home of Jump Racing, while two fallen giants of English football meet in League 1 at Portman Road. 

Ipswich Town and Derby County are trying to build promotion challenges and their Friday night clash could be key to their momentum, while there's a tasty offering of Premiership Rugby as Gloucester visit London Irish to kick-start the weekend. 

Cheltenham: New season at Prestbury Park

What:Racing at Cheltenham
Where: Prestbury Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
When:1.35-5.05, Friday 21st October
How to watch:Racing TV & bet365 Sports Live Streaming
Odds: She Is Electric 9/4 (2.45), Champagne Gold 7/2 (3.20)

Nothing says National Hunt racing quite like Cheltenham and the Cotswolds venue begins a new term with their two-day Showcase Meeting across Friday and Saturday.

It's one of three pre-Christmas meetings at the Home of Jump Racing, with the countdown to The Festival in March starting here.

Rachael Blackmore cemented her position as the Queen of Cheltenham when partnering Minella Indo to Gold Cup glory in the spring. She's back for the opening day of the season and will hope to have success from two rides. 

Norman Lee's improving She Is Electric goes in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (2.45), while those famous colours of Minella Indo are present via the Henry De Bromhead-trained Champagne Gold in the Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (3.20) – both to be partnered by Blackmore. 

League One: Tractor Boys welcome Rams 

What:Ipswich Town v Derby County, League One
Where: Portman Road, Ipswich 
When:20:00, Friday 21st October
How to watch:Sky Sports Main Event & Football
Odds: Ipswich 3/4, Draw 3/1, Derby 7/2

Both Ipswich Town and Derby County have graced England's top-flight in the not-so distant past, but they now languish in the third tier. Both clubs are, however, making strides at recovery this season.

The Tractor Boys are second in the table heading into the home assignment, four points behind leaders Plymouth Argyle, while the Rams are just a point off the play-off positions in ninth and still in the automatic promotion picture themselves. 

Derby have won their last two on the road in League 1, while Ipswich were turned over by Lincoln City in their previous home assignment. It's a tough game to call and the draw is priced at 3/1.

Premiership: Gloucester look to build on Bears win

What:London Irish v Gloucester, Gallagher Premiership
Where: Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford 
When:19:45, Friday 21st October
How to watch:BT Sport
Odds: London Irish 21/20, Gloucester 5/6

Gloucester travel to London Irish on Friday night in Round Seven of the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership, with the visitors on a high following a thrilling 31-28 victory over Bristol Bears last weekend.

Irish, meanwhile, lost 37-14 to Sale Sharks and sit 11th in the table compared to their fourth-placed visitors. 

Gloucester are in a rich vein of form after winning their last away trip to Bath and suffering just one defeat this season to Saracens in Round 3, but they still have not won successive league fixtures on the road since January.

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