The start of the National Hunt season gains momentum this week at Cheltenham in the 50,000 zeturf.com Handicap Chase (2.40pm) at Cheltenham on Saturday. Also among the entries are the Ferdy Murphy-trained pair of Three Mirrors and Watch My Back, as well as last seasons fourth, Private Be, from the Philip Hobbs yard. Nigel Twiston-Davies has entered The Hollow Bottom and Patman Du Charmil, while Nicky Henderson could saddle Boomshakalaka and Shouldhavehadit, and David Pipe has engaged Star of German.
Another in the potential line up is War Of The World who has been a revelation since arriving at Tim Vaughans Pant Wilkin Stables this summer and the Welsh trainer is hoping the seven-year-olds progress can continue this weekend.
The extended two and a half-mile handicap, an informative trial for the racecourses Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open on November 14, has attracted 22 entries and is the highlight of The Showcase, Cheltenhams popular two-day season opener.
Vaughan revealed today: The plan is to run War Of The World in the zeturf.com Handicap Chase. He also has an entry in the sportingbet.com Handicap Chase on Friday but Saturday is our main target. The Paddy Power Gold Cup or the Boylesports.com Gold Cup in December would definitely be targets - one or the other - if he competes to a good level this weekend. Trained in Ireland by Mouse Morris before joining Vaughan in August, War Of The World was quick off the mark for his new connections on September 5, lugging top-weight to victory over two miles, seven furlongs at Stratford, before finishing second in a Listed handicap chase at Market Rasen on September 26.
Grand National winning trainer Gordon Elliott enjoys sending his raiders to Britain from Ireland and he has engaged recent Perth winner Mhilu, while the Brendan Powell-trained Fit To Drive could attempt to land a three-timer, the Jonjo ONeill-trained Cruchain may attempt to add to his latest success in a Worcester beginners chase and Paul Nicholls has entered Poquelin, successful at The Showcase in 2008.