The ground throughout the majority of the National Hunt season has largely been no better than good to soft and a heavy surface can be expected over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival given the rain in the build up.
This could have a bearing on some of the Championship races, with Zarkandar primed to put his battling qualities and stamina to good use in the Champion Hurdle. However, a stern examination can still be expected from favourite Hurricane Fly and defending champion Rock On Ruby.
Meanwhile, Quevega bids to become the first horse since Golden Miller in the 1930s to win the same Festival contest five years in succession as she races in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, with injury forcing Big Buck’s to miss out on achieving the same rare feat.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup threatens to be the most competitive in years, with course specialist Bobs Worth putting his record on the line against Nicky Henderson pair Silviniaco Conti and Long Run, alongside the pick of the Irish challenge in Sir Des Champs.