Racing Post's November Preview

There may have been some high quality jumps action during October but November is the month when the winter game truly takes hold and we bid farewell to the boys and girls of summer.

So, it's "bye-bye" to Enable and Harry Angel and a hearty "how've you been?" to Thistlecrack, Sizing John and company as we set out on the early stages of the long road to The Cheltenham Festival next spring.

With thoughts of Prestbury Park entering the collective conscience, it is only fitting that the most famous venue in National Hunt racing plays host to one of the highlights of the early season, the November Meeting from 17th-19th, now no longer to be confused with a well-known golf tournament.

The meeting revolves around the BetVictor Gold Cup, won in recent years by the likes of Al Ferof, Imperial Commander and Cyfor Malta, but don't forget the only Sunday of racing at Cheltenham, featuring the ever-informative Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle.

Everybody has their own race that officially starts the jumps season in their minds and for many it is the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. An early pointer for the Gold Cup, the roll of honour includes the likes of See More Business and Cue Card, and the two day meeting kicks the month of on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th.

On the same day as the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase, jumping returns to Ascot with the £100,00 Sodexo Gold Cup, with the added bonus of a spectacular fireworks display following racing.

Another race with some fantastic former winners, including Viking Flagship and Best Mate, is the Haldon Gold Cup and this year's renewal takes place on November 7th at Exeter and a few days later, on November 11th, the ITV cameras will head to Wincanton for Badger Ales Chase day, which also features the Stan James Elite Hurdle.

All of this builds up to the month-ending showpiece that is the Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 25th. Still a relatively young race, it is now firmly established as the first major stepping stone on the way to the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, thanks in part to the £1 million Jockey Club bonus on offer to any horse who can add the King George at Kempton to Haydock and Cheltenham glory.

Kauto Star won four. Cue Card has won three. Silviniaco Conti bagged a pair and Imperial Commander was the 2010 winner. Who will make history in 2017 and lay down an early marker?

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