JOCKEYS and horses will get under orders for the first time at Cheltenham this season at the Showcase meeting.
The fixture on Friday and Saturday is set to feature horses from the top stables in the country and will see champion jockey AP McCoy continue his bid to reach 4,000 winners.
The two days of competition offer punters edge-of-seat racing, mixed with top prize money and a fun family day out.
The popular meeting is a natural starting point for horses returning from their summer breaks and is often used in preparation for The Open next month.
Friday’s card includes the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, with the money on last year’s runner-up Captain Sunshine.
Saturday’s seven-race card features two £50,000 handicaps, including the Equus-Fine Dining At The Festival Handicap Chase over two and a half miles, featuring last year’s runner-up Easter Meteor.
The second highlight on Saturday is the Ryman The Stationer Handicap Chase, run over an extended three miles.
Racegoers can go behind the scenes and find out more about Cheltenham and jump racing, with guided tours of the parade ring and weighing room before the racing starts, as well as various activities and displays in the Hurdlers’ Hall.
The Showcase this year offers record prize money of £288,000 and gates open at noon on both days.
The first race is at 2.10pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.
The last race on both days is at 5.30pm.
Sophia Brudenell, marketing manager at the racecourse, said: “The season at Cheltenham gets underway next week, with the Showcase meeting on Friday and Saturday.
“As usual there will be some great racing on the track, but there will also be an exhibition in the grandstands, showcasing all the different aspects that make racing such a unique sport.”
There will also be demonstrations on veterinary care for racehorses, while equine artist Elizabeth Armstrong demonstrates the skills needed to achieve her art.
Tickets are available online and range from £9 to £40. Visit www.cheltenham.co.uk/