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Mulcahys Hill has Cheltenham in sights with forecast looking favourable

Warren Greatrex is minded to run Mulcahys Hill in the £32,000 G2 Ballymore Classic Novices' Hurdle (3.00pm) at Cheltenham this Saturday, Festival Trials Day.
 
The promising six-year-old, one of 14 entries for the extended two and a half mile contest, sets the standard with a rating of 147 following his agonising short-head defeat at the hands of Poetic Rhythm in the G1 Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury on December 30.
 
Potential opposition includes Claimantakinforgan (Nicky Henderson), who is unbeaten in two starts so far this season but yet to race beyond two miles, and Tikkanbar (Neil Mulholland), victorious over the course and distance last time out in the Listed Ballymore Novices' Hurdle on New Year's Day.
 
Greatrex, based in Lambourn, said today: "I have put Mulcahys Hill in at Cheltenham and Doncaster because the weather forecast looks favourable and he is in great form at home.

"I am probably leaning towards Cheltenham out of the two, as it does look likely to be soft ground. He has improved since Newbury and I think that race has made a man of him.
 
"I suppose his biggest attribute is the way he goes through testing ground, whereas at The Festival conditions will probably go against him. 
 
"In that respect, Saturday could be his Gold Cup. You know he is going to give them a hard race and it would be nice to have a look at the track.
 
"He worked really well this morning and it all looks positive at the moment, so we will see how the weather plays out and make a definite decision later in the week." 
 
Other highly-regarded names among the entries include the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of Santini and Pacific De Baune, both successful on their respective hurdling debuts at Newbury.
 
Slate House (Colin Tizzard) landed G2 honours at The November Meeting when he defeated subsequent G1 scorer Summerville Boy in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial over two miles.
 
Festival Trials Day offers racegoers the final opportunity to experience action at the Home of Jump Racing before The Festival (Tuesday, March 13 to Friday, March 16 inclusive).
 
A fabulous seven-race programme is headlined by the £100,000 G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25pm, 10 entries), a leading trial for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival. 
 
Impressive G1 Betfair Chase victor Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies) is bidding to get back on track after a disappointing run in the G1 32Red King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
  
Top-quality staying hurdle action is provided by the £60,000 G2 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm) over three miles. The 11 entries include Finian's Oscar (Colin Tizzard) and course specialist Wholestone (Nigel Twiston-Davies).
 
The card is opened by the £32,000 G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (12.40pm, eight entries), landed by subsequent G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle victor Defi Du Seuil in 2017, while the feature handicap of the day is the £75,000 G3 Crest Nicholson Handicap Chase (1.50pm, 24 entries).
 
Many Clouds, who enjoyed his finest hour when winning the 2015 Grand National, will be remembered at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day with the screening of the film Many Clouds - The People's Horse.
 
Many Clouds - The People's Horse was produced by Equine Productions and directed by Nathan Horrocks, who rode Many Clouds in his work at home.
 
The film remembers the courageous Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding, who sadly passed away following his head victory over Thistlecrack in the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day in 2017. He also won the race in 2015.
 
The performance of Many Clouds at Cheltenham last year saw the horse, who was ridden by Leighton Aspell throughout his career, subsequently announced as the leading staying chaser in the 2016/17 Anglo Irish Jump Classifications.
 
Horrocks, who picked up award for best director at the prestigious EQUUS Film Festival in New York, will feature in Q&A sessions alongside Oliver Sherwood, trainer of Many Clouds.
 
The two Q&A sessions will take place in the winner's enclosure at 12.05pm and 2.05pm. Racegoers will be able to submit questions to Horrocks and Sherwood via Cheltenham's Twitter account @CheltenhamRaces.
 
Following the running of the last race at 4.10pm, Many Clouds - The People's Horsewill be shown on TV screens across the racecourse.
 
Total prize money on Festival Trials Day has been boosted to £354,000 this year - an increase of £24,000 (seven per cent) on the 2017 level.
 
Latest going
 
The going at Cheltenham is currently: Soft
 
The forecast for this week is for unsettled conditions, with temperatures remaining mild.
 
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