Storm Dennis may be set to wreak havoc in Britain this weekend, but officials at Haydock Park are hopeful of giving the go ahead for a cracking seven-race card at the track.
There is over £241,000 in prize money, including the £100,000 Grand National Trial and racing gets under way at 1.30pm and concludes at 5pm. The Racing Post have previewed all the action with stats and analysis.
The feature contest of the day is the £100,000 Unibet Grand National Trial (3.15pm) over three miles and four furlongs.
Despite just 11 runners going to post, the contest looks wide-open. Lord Du Mesnil has proved a revelation for his trainer Richard Hobson this season with three victories in succession.
The seven-year-old’s last two wins have come at Haydock, including over course and distance highlighting his likeness for the track and testing conditions.
He also represents a trainer who is operating at a 25% strike-rate in the last fortnight. With testing ground and the stamina-laden trip in his favour, the son of Saint Des Saints has leading claims.
Vintage Clouds roared back to form with a facile seven-length win in the Grade Two Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock last time out over an extended three miles and one furlong.
The son of Cloudings jumped with aplomb and quickened up in stylish fashion to record a ready success. His trainer Sue Smith is a shrewd operator in these staying chase events and is also enjoying a 25% strike-rate in the last two weeks.
One For Arthur is bound for the Grand National at Aintree in April where he will bid to reclaim his crown in the four and a quarter-mile £1m contest.
However, he warms up for a trip to Liverpool in this event for a trainer in Lucinda Russell who has won three of the last nine renewals. One For Arthur, a son of Milan stayed on nicely to finish fifth in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December and will enjoy testing ground conditions.
Other names to note in the marathon contest include 2018 winner Yala Enki who is now trained by Paul Nicholls and returned to winning form at Taunton last time out.
Britain’s champion jump trainer Nicholls is currently operating at a 25% strike-rate with 13 winners from 52 runners in the last fortnight and heavy ground will play to his favour.
Elsewhere on the card, the £40,000 Grade Two Unibet Rendlesham Hurdle (2.05pm) sees Grade One hero The Worlds End return to action for Tom George. The son of Stowaway rallied gamely to record a first success at the top-level in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December and given his liking for testing ground conditions, he makes plenty of appeal in this contest.
Another horse worth following at the meeting is the talented Ramses De Teillee. He is the star name in the £30,000 Grade Two Albert Bartlett Prestige Novices’ Hurdle (4.25pm) over three miles.
The eight-year-old son of Martaline is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles this season, which included a smart success in the Grade Two River Don at Doncaster in January. A victory at Haydock would rather highlight his credentials for the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in March at the Cheltenham Festival.
1.30pm 3 Uniboosts Per Day At Unibet Chase 2m 3f
Selection: The Big Bite
2.05pm Unibet Rendlesham Hurdle 3m
Selection: The Worlds End
2.40pm Unibet Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle 2m
Selection: Sir Psycho
3.15pm Unibet Grand National Trial Handicap Chase 3m 4f
Selection: Lord Du Mesnil
3.50pm Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle 3m
Selection: Portrush Ted
4.25pm Albert Bartlett Prestige Novices’ Hurdle 3m
Selection: Ramses De Teillee
5.00pm Unibet Walrus Open Hunters’ Chase 2m 6f
Selection: The Dellercheckout
For the latest results and racecards check https://www.racingpost.com/cheltenham-festival/