Next Sensation could return to Cheltenham for the £50,000 Randox Health Handicap Chase over two miles on day two of The Showcase, Saturday 21st October.
The nine-year-old gained the biggest victory of his career at Cheltenham when capturing the 2015 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase over an extended two miles at The Festival. He failed to build on that victory last season, including three attempts at two and a half miles, but returned to form last time out with a battling success in a two-mile handicap chase at Newton Abbot on 26th September.
Herefordshire-based trainer Michael Scudamore said: “Cheltenham is under consideration for the Next Sensation.
“He has come out of Newton Abbot really well. For whatever reason last season he seemed his normal self at home but each time he got to the track he was lack-lustre. He just didn’t have his usual zip and spark.
“Luckily, he has come back to a bit form and was a bit unlucky at Cartmel [where he fell three fences out] before winning at Newton Abbot.
“I am just hoping that the recent win will give him the confidence to kick on again.”
Randox Health also sponsors the other feature of The Showcase, the £50,00 Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong. Friday’s card could see Weatherbys Champion Bumper hero Ballyandy bid for a first victory over hurdles in either the two-mile Harrison James & Hardie Maiden Hurdle or the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over five furlongs further.
Other highlights include £35,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle and the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, the first in a series of qualifiers for the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival in March. There are seven races each day, with the first race due off at 2.10pm on the Friday and 1.50pm on the Saturday.
Away from the action on the track, racegoers will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Home of Jump Racing with guided tours of the parade ring and weighing room before racing. The food and drink showcase, introduced for the first time in 2014, returns to The Centaur to show off all that is great about produce from the Cotswolds.
The Showcase, the first racing at Cheltenham in the 2016/2017 Jump season, is followed by The Open, from 11th–13th November inclusive, and The International on 9th and 10th December.
Accompanied children aged 18 and under gain FREE entry to the racecourse except during The Festival in March. The Festival 2017 takes place from Tuesday 14th March to Friday 17th March inclusive.