Seven races will take place on a card which also includes the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle, with a record total prize fund of £183,000 available across the meeting.
Last year’s epic three-mile, five-furlong race was famously won by Lucinda Russell’s One For Arthur, who subsequently went on to register a stunning victory in the 2017 Randox Health Grand National.
Dan Skelton’s Sir Mangan heads the betting this time around, having a won a well-contested race at Bangor back in November. He also ran Beer Goggles close at Newton Abbot at the start of the season, and will hope to buck the trend of recent big-priced winners.
Kerry Lee won this race two years ago with Russe Blanc, and she will have high hopes again with Krackatoa King. He hasn’t finished outside the top three in his last seven starts. Winning performances at Warwick and Uttoxeter in 2017 were followed by being pipped to victory at Wincanton on Boxing Day last time out.
Missed Approach was pulled up in the bet365 Hurdle on his seasonal reappearance in November but is highly fancied on more suitable ground, whilst a fourth-placed finish in a strong field in the Welsh Grand National trial for Ballycross suggests that there is more to come from Nigel Twiston-Davies’ seven-year-old.
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