Ladbrokes Winter Carnival preview: Can Paisley Park retain Long Distance Hurdle crown?
We look ahead at Day One of the event at Newbury
Forget about seeing the latest John Lewis advert or putting up the decorations – the real first sign of Christmas each year is the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival returning to Newbury.
Day One of this year’s event gets underway on Friday, with seven thrilling races to look forward to.
All eyes will be on the Long Distance Hurdle at 15:00, as Aidan Coleman and Paisley Park look to repeat their success from last year.
And ahead of the action, we’ve taken a look at the best runners and riders in the key races.
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Caribean Boy impressed on his British debut at Doncaster in January having spent almost two years out of action. The French import built on that performance by winning well at Haydock a month later.
But he’ll face stiff competition from Fiddlerontheroof, who won a Grade 1 novice hurdle back in January. After impressing in last month’s reappearance, he continued to improve by winning at Exeter a fortnight ago.
The third and final horse making up the field is Getaway Trump. He won a three-horse race last time out at Fakenham but he’s unlikely to trouble his two rivals here.
Paisley Park will be the centre of attention here after he stormed to victory in this race last year. He’ll be looking to bounce back after disappointing in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in his last outing.
But Summerville Boy will want to carry his momentum into this event after making a winning return at Aintree. The 2018 Supreme Hurdle winner looked strong over hurdles last season.
Another contender will be McFabulous, who has won his last three starts, including a strong showing at Chepstow last month. He could improve further over a longer trip.
There was no stopping Hill Sixteen at Ffos Las nine days ago. Sam Twiston-Davies’ ride won an eight-horse handicap by a stunning 46 lengths and he could be one to beat if he’s on similar form.
Dell’ Arca has also impressed in recent weeks, winning his last two starts. He’ll be looking to continue his form but he’ll be 6lbs worse off at Newbury.
Also in contention will be Coeur De Lion, who makes his hurdles return. He struggled on his recent flat outing but a change in discipline could signal better fortunes.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication