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PREVIEW | The April Meeting: Silver Trophy Handicap Chase

Graded racing returns to Prestbury Park with the Silver Trophy Handicap Chase heading the card on day one of the April meeting

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Coole Cody and Tom O'Brien jump the last to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup

Nine runners have been declared for Wednesday’s Silver Trophy Chase, with several contenders aiming to land their first victory in Graded company.

It will be the first time that Prestbury Park has hosted the fixture in over two years after last year’s meeting was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It falls just four weeks after the beginning of the 2021 Festival, which saw many achieve sporting glory, with Irish-based runners claiming a dominant 23-5 victory in the Prestbury Cup.

Festival superstars Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore also stole the show at Aintree on Saturday afternoon, taking the Grand National through Minella Times.

But all eyes now turn to Prestbury Park’s post-Easter bonanza later this week.

Ahead of Wednesday’s feature, The Big Bite (10/3) sits at the top of the market, with three strong performances under his belt this season already for Henry Oliver.

After claiming success in a handicap chase at Aintree in November, the eight-year-old finished a creditable second behind Ibleo at Doncaster before running into third in the Greatwood Gold Cup.

Cheltenham Racecourse Hill and Stand
The April Meeting gets underway at Cheltenham on Wednesday, with the Silver Trophy headlining the card

A versatile jumper, The Big Bite should relish the good ground and he has proven his ability at the 2m4f distance.

Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody (9/2) returns to Prestbury Park once again, with the aim of landing his second success at the Gloucestershire track this season.

watch: coole cody makes all in the paddy power gold cup in november AND BIDS FOR SILVER TROPHY GLORY AT THE APRIL MEETING [credit: racing tv]

Evan Williams’ gelding has finished in the top four places in three of his four starts at Cheltenham this term, including a strong fourth in the Paddy Power Plate at last month’s Festival.

The ten-year-old remains at a mark of 143 for this contest and could well be in the mix if he can cope with the drying ground.

Harry Skelton’s Champion Jockey title push continues here, with the 31-year-old booked to ride Romain De Senam (5/1).

The nine-year-old landed his first win in almost two years in January, winning the Betway ‘Auld Reekie’ Handicap Chase comfortably by 12 lengths.

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Gary Moore’s Benatar (6/1) will want to go one better this time in the Silver Trophy after finishing second at Warwick two weeks ago, whereas in-form trainer Paul Nicholls will be hoping Magic Saint (8/1) can land his second victory at Prestbury Park this season.

Paul Nicholls is hoping to see Magic Saint in the winners’ enclosure once again in the aftermath of the Silver Trophy

Up The Straight (8/1) will need to combat a 4lb rise after claiming second in a Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase at Sandown last month for Richard Rowe, while Emma Lavelle’s Manofthemountain (10/1) has seen a short rise of 2lbs for his runner-up performance at Kempton.

Nicky Henderson‘s Pym (9/1) will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways after a poor showing in the Ultima Handicap Chase and Two Taffs (18/1) will need a revival in form if he is to compete here, but the 11-year-old is currently sitting at an enticing mark of 137.

A wide-open Silver Trophy Handicap Chase heads Wednesday’s action at the April meeting.

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