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Racing news: Cheltenham Trials Day faces 8am inspection Friday

by Sean Goff | January 23, 2013
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GOING FOR GOLD: Bobs Worth and First Lieutenant in last season’s RSA Chase

By Sean Goff | Cheltenham 2013

Cheltenham is odds-on to stage its Trial Day this Saturday after less than an inch of snow fell at the track on Tuesday night but must pass an 8am inspection on Friday morning.

But even if the meeting can’t go ahead on Saturday a contingency plan is in place to transfer the high-profile card – which now also includes the Victor Chandler Chase – to Sunday.

In what will be the key meeting of the season ahead of the Festival Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth, Champion Chase favourite Sprinter Sacre and World Hurdle favourite  Oscar Whisky are all set to run for the Nicky Henderson team.

While David Pipe is keen to let Grands Crus take his Chance against Bobs Worth in the Argento Chase.

Grands Crus will be scoped later in the week and if that comes back clean I’d imagine we’ll take our chance. If it’s moved to Sunday it wouldn’t make any difference to us whatsoever.

Connections of Bobs Worth are also desperate for their star chaser to make his final outing before he lines up in the Blue Riband of jumps racing on March 15.

The owners don’t fear letting their RSA Chase and Hennessy Gold Cup winner going to the festival without another run but the last 10 winners had run between two and five times that season and options are thin on the ground as the big day approaches.

Nicky Henderson has always said since the Hennessy that he’d have one more run before the Gold Cup, but obviously he does go well fresh as he went straight from winning the RSA Chase to the Hennessy without a run.

Geraghty is also due to ride Grandouet from the Henderson stable in the Champion Hurdle trial that features last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame and possibly 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross who failed to spark over the bigger obstacles last season but maybe re-routed to a bumper at Kempton on Friday.

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