The International Meeting Preview

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With one week to go until Christmas, the Saturday of The International is the perfect place to get your party started. With Christmas carols on all day and loads of activities for the whole family it’s a great day out for the whole family.

The feature race of the fixture is the Unibet International Hurdle, won last year by crowd favourite and three-times winner The New One partnered by Champion Jockey Richard Johnson. The top-quality horse will add a lot of experience to the field and give the crowd a great race before building up towards the King George which will be the last Grade 1 of 2017.

The Cheltenham Christmas meeting has gone under the radar; however, you would be a fool to miss out on this weekends races at the historic Cheltenham racecourse with the rolling Cotswold hills in the background of the famous racecourse.

With the snow which covered the ground for most of the weekend now gone, it has paved the way for some really soft ground. The groundsman Simon Claisse, however, see's no need to worry in anticipation for the festive fixture "We have lost our snow, but we've had eight millimetres of rain since yesterday," said Claisse.

"The outlook is for a few showers over the next couple of days, no serious frost, although Friday night might be a bit colder.

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"If it is going to be, we will cover after racing. It's a bit too early to be taking that decision.

"It is set to be dry from Friday onwards."

The big names to watch out for on Saturday in my opinion are Le Prezian in the 1:55. The French bred Colt has a great chance in the Grade 3 being backed in as 2nd favourite at 5/1. If you are contemplating on who to back in this great matched race look no further than Le Prezian.

Sam HitchmoughComment