Longsdon has three runners on opening day at Cheltenham

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon has three runners at Cheltenham on Friday
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon has three runners at Cheltenham on Friday

Cheltenham’s two-day Showcase kick-off the new campaign at Prestbury Park on Friday.

The popular two-day meeting, which offers record total prize money of £319,000, is the natural starting point for horses returning from their summer breaks.

Friday’s opening Ballymore Novices Hurdle is now worth £20,000, while the three novices’ chases and the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle go up from £20,000 to £25,000.

Saturday’s card is headlined by two £50,000 handicap chases, both sponsored by Randox Health.

The randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong starts the racing action on the day. The second £50,000 contest is the Randox Health Handicap Chase over two miles.

Last year’s Randox Health Handicap Chase victor Fox Norton turned into a top-class chaser, finishing second to Special Tiara in the Group 1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival before landing Group 1 contests at Aintree and Punchestown.

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon has three runners on Friday at Cheltenham.

On Friday, the Hull Farm handler runs Treackle Tart in the opening Ballymore Novices Hurdle and Vivas goes in the Brandon Hill Capital Handicap Hurdle while Azure Fly runs in the Joel Dommett Here on 6th April Amateur Riders Handicap Chase while

First race time on both days is 2pm.