The action gets underway at 1.20pm and concludes at 5.10pm. The ground is currently Good to Soft, Soft in places and the forecast is for a cloudy day.
Bookmaker SBK sponsor three races on the card, including the £25,000 SBK Gold Trophy which is the richest class 4 jumps race run for a decade.
SBK will also be sponsoring the upcoming Lincoln meeting at Doncaster on March 26, the traditional curtain-raiser for the Flat season.
As already alluded to, the feature event is the £25,000 SBK Gold Trophy Novices’ Handicap Chase at 2.00pm. Cheltenham Festival winning combination Derek Fox and Lucinda Russell saddle the favourite Douglas Talking who is unbeaten in his last two starts and looks sure to go well here. Other leading contenders include Broadway Joe who has won three of his five starts this year, whilst Ahead Of The Field is another open to more progress having finished second at Doncaster last time out.
Elsewhere, on the card SBK also sponsor the opening handicap hurdle at 1.20pm with a prize fund of £12,100. Confirmation Bias represents Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls who have runners here. He was pulled-up last time out, but a return to his form shown last year would make him of interest here. Stokes has finished second in three starts this term and is another leading contender, but preference is for Destrier. The nine-year-old shaped better than the bare result suggests at Ludlow when fourth last time out and he remains open to more improvement.
SBK also sponsor a novice hurdle at 4.00pm which has attracted four runners for the two and a half-mile event. Mothill was second at Chepstow last time out on his third run for Neil Mulholland and a reproduction of that effort would see him go close. I’m Spellbunce and Herewegohoney both need to improve to get involved, but preference is for Lounge Lizard. The five-year-old was third at Ludlow last time out and a reproduction of his penultimate run when second to Gentleman At Arms, who has won again since, would suffice here.
The concluding bumper is another interesting event in which Ohnodonttakemehome is deeply respected following a good second on debut, whilst Cammy Bear is a fascinating runner for Paul Nicholls on his debut. Campden Lad needs to improve having finished third last time out and preference is for Robiola who shaped with lots of promise when second at Ludlow last time out and he is taken to come out on top here.
Smarkets spokesperson Adam Baylis said: "We're really enjoying doing lots more in racing and wanted to have a little bit of fun on one of the biggest racing days in the calendar with the inaugural running of the SBK Gold Trophy.”
2.00pm Douglas Talking
2.40pm Oot Ma Way
4.00pm Lounge Lizard