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Long Run for Friday Festival Prep


After Saturday's first-class card at Newbury was ultimately forced to be abandoned due to an inability to beat the freeze, Friday is now the confirmed replacement fixture and there are some excellent horses lined up for their last preps prior to the festival season.


The Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase (which is now called the Betfair Super Saturday Chase, despite being run on a Friday) has the likes of Zaynar and Cue Card set to do battle while living-legend Kinkeel attempts chase #103 in his pursuit of the Guinness World Record. French Opera is set to run as top weight.

The Grade 2 Denman Chase sees Long Run set to face off against several outside contenders for the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. No jockey is confirmed on Long Run as of yet and it will be interesting to see if Sam Waley-Cohen gets the mount once again. He's finishes runner-up in both attempts this year, both to Kauto Star, and the seven-year-old son of Cadoudal will be looking to make a big impression here. Should be fail to win this one, watch his Cheltenham ante post price go completely bonkers.

Little Josh is here, as is Tidal Bay, Medermit and What A Friend. Burton Port is lightly-raced this year and looked good on debut. Chapel House and The Giant Bolster round out the field.

Get Me Out of Here and Zarkandar headline the Betfair Hurdle, which is a Grade 3 contest over 2m110y. Should the going stay in the good to soft (soft in places) range, try having a look at Desert Cry who could make the breakthrough here and will go off at a quality price. Darlan is looking for his fourth in a row with a step up in grade here.

The final graded contest on the day is the Grade 1 Betfair Novices' Chase, which is setting up as a potential key race for a few of the novice chase contests at Cheltenham. For Non Stop has been teetering on the edge of victory for a while now and he will like his position here while the fan-favourite Michael Flips enters fresh off a victory and full of confidence. Picture This boasts quality form while Zaynar may find himself coming into form at this point. Our Mick is certain to take some money as well.  

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