The curtain on the 2020/21 campaign at Cheltenham draws to an end on Friday evening with the return of Race Night, the first renewal of the fixture in two years.
Following the events of the Cheltenham Festival and April Meeting, the only two events at the course in the calendar year thus far due to adverse weather in January, Prestbury Park’s sole evening fixture featuring the best of the British amateurs, kickstarts at 5:00pm.
Recent Ludlow winner Garde Ville is set to bid for a fourth win in a row for Patricia Rigby in the 6:45pm JRL Group Open Hunters’ Chase following a duo of victories in Shropshire and one between the flags – including with the late Lorna Brooke in the saddle for the latter mentioned.
The 11-year-old is set to tackle the former Christian Williams trained Fifty Shades, who has enjoyed two victories in point-to-point’s since pulling up in his last two starts under rules.
Also in contention is Presenting gelding Sugar Baron, an old representative of Nicky Henderson and Seven Barrows, who makes his return to this sphere and was even sixth in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival once upon a time.
Local trainer Fergal O’Brien, who enjoyed over a century of winners last season, saddles Captain Cattistock for the third time in the 7:45pm Lorna Brooke Open Hunters’ Chase, with the son of Black Bellamy Sam bidding for a sixth career success in this company and his first at Cheltenham.
He takes on Andrew Leyshon’s former course-and-distance winner Sam Red, who is without victory since his Gloucestershire heroics in October 2018 and arrives here with a fair point to prove from recent evidence.
In the second contest of the night, Stuart Payne will saddle his first-ever Cheltenham runner in Hadmeathello, who will be ridden by 7lbs claimer Miss Chloe Emsley.