Bally and Racer renew rivalry
The final day of the Open meeting at Cheltenham on Sunday gets under way with a mouthwatering clash in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle.
Moon Racer knows what it takes to win at Cheltenham
The Grade Two contest stages a rematch between the last two winners of the Champion Bumper, with David Pipe's 2015 victor Moon Racer having narrowly denied last season's Festival winner Ballyandy, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, on their respective hurdling debuts at Perth in September.
Tom Scudamore rides Moon Racer and believes both horses are destined for the top over hurdles.
He said: "He is a very good horse and ready.
"I was impressed with him at Perth, though he still has plenty to learn.
"The way Moon Racer and Ballyandy battled up the straight shows they are two serious horses.
"I am sure both horses will improve for the experience, but I would be disappointed if Ballyandy ever beat my lad.
"He has schooled again since and we think an awful lot of him."
Twiston-Davies is confident Ballyandy can turn the form around, though.
The Naunton handler said: "He will come on a lot for the run at Perth and he's 4lb better off for half a length so we're very confident.
"He was not at all wound up first time out so he'll be a lot better now and I feel the fact we are a lot fitter we can turn it around around with Moon Racer.
"I hope it does rain as it will all help and the more rain the better."
What About Carlo has won six times on the Flat for Eve Johnson Houghton and is thrown in at the deep end on his jumping bow.
"We decided to give hurdling a go because he loves a cut in the ground. It makes sense to go autumn, winter, spring and then give him a break over the summer," said the Didcot-based trainer.
"We will find out about stamina. I think a lot of horses can transfer a mile and a quarter to two miles over hurdles.
"If they need further than 10 furlongs on the Flat, they sometimes don't have the pace."
The Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial has lost most of its lustre after Altior was not declared, but Henry de Bromhead sends over from Ireland two extremely nice horses in Three Stars and Some Plan.
Three Stars disappointed on his chasing debut at Tramore, but impressed at Listowel before landing a Grade Three at Punchestown last month.
Some Plan, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls, made a successful start to his new career at the same Punchestown fixture.
De Bromhead said: "Three Stars has taken very well to chasing.
"He is tough and hardy and he is just a very nice horse. He appears to handle any ground.
"I was delighted with the way Some Plan jumped when he won at Punchestown.
"I know it was only a two-horse race, but he couldn't have done it any better.
"He is just a very nice horse and he seems to like nice ground."
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