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There is a plethora of top-class racing action this weekend
  1. Horse Racing

Weekend Racing Preview: Scriptwriter aims to pen Adonis tale

It is perhaps the final key weekend before the Cheltenham Festival and it brings graded jumps action from Britain and Ireland on both Saturday and Sunday, with the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton the highlight.

That's one of three Grade 2 contests at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue on Saturday, where former King George winner Frodon also makes an appearance.

The Eidur Chase takes place at Newcastle, while at Lingfield it is Winter Derby Day on the Polytrack and on Sunday, Fontwell hosts the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle.

Follow all the UK and Irish racing action via the bet365 Sports Live Streaming platform as we look ahead to the weekend's action.

Harris looks to Scriptwriter for Adonis repeat

Milton Harris and Paddy Brennan teamed up last season to win the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (1.50) at Kempton and they have a leading contender again in 7/4 Scriptwriter this time around.

The son of Churchill, rated 102 on the Flat, has won 2 of 3 starts over timber and lost very little in defeat when second to Comfort Zone at Cheltenham in January, with that Irish raider already boasting winning Grade 2 form from Chepstow at Christmas.

Scriptwriter has already beaten today's rival Perseus Way this season, while the Gary Moore inmate was third behind Comfort Zone since, either side of wins at Leicester and Huntingdon, and is 7/1 for this challenge.

Comfort Zone's trainer Joseph O'Brien sends over 7/2 Nusret, though the Golden Horn colt has a bit to find on paper, while Paul Nicholls saddles Taunton maiden hurdle winner Rare Middleton.

Alan King and Nicky Henderson share the record with five Adonis wins each and will look to break clear with 25/1 Spartan Army and 8/1 Pawapuri respectively.

Frodon back at Kempton

The admirable Frodon is back at the scene of his greatest win, the 2020 King George, as champion trainer Nicholls allows him take his chance in the three-mile handicap chase (3.00) under Bryony Frost.

They are 9/1 and rated 3lb higher than when landing the Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton in November's seasonal comeback.

The partnership has come up short since in three graded events, though they did return an honourable third in the King George on Boxing Day behind top-class stablemate Bravemansgame.

The Christian Williams-trained Cap Du Nord is 7/2 to win this competitive event for the second year running, while Evan Williams' Annsam is 5/1 and Our Power is 8/1 for Sam Thomas and Sam Twiston-Davies.

More graded action at Kempton on Saturday comes via the Pendil Novices' Chase (2.25), where 6/4 Boothill heads the market on his step up in trip for Harry Fry, having won the Wayward Lad here at Christmas.

Meanwhile, Gary Moore's Hansard is favourite at 5/4 for the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle (3.40) following hurdles wins at Huntingdon and Plumpton so far.

Williams looks to retain Eider crown

The Eider Handicap Chase (3.25) is the feature contest at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon and with a trip in excess of four-miles, it will test the resolve of the 15-runner field.

Trainer Christian Williams bagged the contest 12 months ago with Win My Wings and has another standout contender now in 11/4 Kitty's Light. He was second in the Scottish Grand National last season and though out of sorts at times this season, could be very well handicapped now.

This won't be easy, however, with in-form pair Bushypark (9/1) for Phil Kirby and In Rem (14/1) for Jane Williams amongst the possible dangers.

The Galloping Bear was a faller when going well late on in the Welsh National at Christmas and is 7/1 to bounce back, while bottom-weight No Cruise Yet (12/1) for Sam and Jonathan England is another who looks sure to relish the endurance test offered.

Lord North bids for Lingfield redemption

Over at Lingfield Park they stage the Group 3 Winter Derby Stakes (2.05), one of the key all-weather races at this time of year.

Former winner Forest Of Dean is 11/2 to reclaim his crown, but his fellow John & Thady Gosden-trained stablemate Lord North looks the one to beat on ratings and trades at 8/11 to score under Rab Havlin.

His supporters will still be conscious of the fact he was turned over as favourite in this race a year ago by Alenquer, with Forest Of Dean a long way back in fourth.

There doesn't appear to be anything of Alenquer's class lurking this time around, with proven all-weather performers Tyrrhenian Sea at 13/2 for Roger Varian and King Of The South (18/1) for William Knight having a bit to prove on ratings to take out the Gosden's hotpot.

There's also a Listed 5f sprint on a quality Lingfield card via the Hever Sprint Stakes (1.30), where recent Wolverhampton scorer Tone The Barone heads the betting at 11/4 for Stuart Williams.

He is set to face off against the likes of 7/2 Alligator Alley for David O'Meara - who was behind in that race but perhaps didn't get a rub of the green - as well as last year's winner One Night Stand, rated 20/1 to repeat the feat, having had his first spin in 308 days here at the beginning of the month.

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Goshen heads for Fontwell

Gary Moore has won the National Spirit Hurdle (2.30) twice since 2017 and will be aiming to land another edition of the Fontwell feature on Sunday with Goshen.

He remains a popular performer with something of a cult following and, while two attempts to go chasing have not worked out this season, sandwiched in between came a Grade 2 Ascot hurdles win in November and an honourable second behind Paisley Park in the Long Walk at Kempton on Boxing Day as he tackled three miles for the first time.

He romped home as a juvenile over timber here in one previous visit, so the track should be fine and  that Ascot win came on ground officially 'good' so conditions are no worry either.

Brewin'upastorm won this race in 2021 for Olly Murphy, but has eight lengths to find on Goshen from that Ascot contest in November.

Meanwhile, Knappers Hill needs to bounce back from a comprehensive defeat behind I Like To Move It in the Kingwell at Wincanton only eight days ago if he's to give champion trainer Paul Nicholls a fourth win in this contest.

Dan Skelton's Proschema and the Alan King-trained Sceau Royal - beaten by Knappers Hill earlier in the season - complete the field and it will be interesting to see how the market judges this one.

Coeur Sublime headlines at Naas

Irish racing on Sunday comes from Naas and their features include the Grade 3 Newland Chase (3.10) where Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore will be hoping that Coeur Sublime can land the prize money.

He looked set to collect on his comeback over C&D in November only to crash out at the final obstacles when holding an advantage over the useful mare Jeremys Flame.

He avenged that result when fourth in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas and should take beating here despite the presence of Battleoverdoyen for Gordon Elliott and Rebel Gold for Patrick Foley.

The second graded race is the Johnstown Novice Hurdle (3.40) and Elliott-trained Found A Fifty will be attempting to build on an easy debut win over timber at Fairyhouse in January.

Smart bumper mare Lily Du Berlais is a potential danger getting 7lb for Stuart Crawford on hurdles bow, while Corbetts Cross has joined Emmet Mullins since easily winning a three-mile Fairyhouse handicap in January off a mark of 130 and commands respect despite this dramatic drop back in distance.

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