Kap Auteuil will bid to supply fledgling coach Toby Lawes with a landmark first Cheltenham winner on Friday.
As the previous assistant to Nicky Henderson and long-time work rider of four-time Cheltenham Competition hero Altior, Lawes is not any stranger to the hallowed winner’s enclosure at Prestbury Park.
However for the primary time since going it alone in 2019, the Surrey-based coach will head to the house of Nationwide Hunt racing with a runner of his personal, as Kap Auteuil bids for a fifth successive victory.
The six-year-old strains up within the Paddy Energy-sponsored handicap chase over two miles, and Lawes mentioned: “It is extremely thrilling for us and the proprietor Andrew Wates, who has had a number of success through the years and I am delighted for him to have such a promising, enhancing horse.
“I’ve some very fond reminiscences of being at Cheltenham with Altior, clearly.
“We’re not placing an excessive amount of strain on this horse, who’s going up in grade, however clearly you dream about successful there.
“Hopefully he can go there and run a pleasant race.”
Having rounded off final season with a hat-trick of victories, Kap Auteuil picked up the place he left off with an eight-length success on his return to motion at Stratford final month.
“We have been completely delighted with him at Stratford. He stayed the two-mile-three (furlongs) rather well and once they’re going up in grade they have to remain strongly,” Lawes continued.
“Within the higher two-mile races they’re going to actually go an end-to-end gallop and there may be actually going to be a number of tempo within the race on Friday, so I feel it is very promising that he stays so properly.”
One of many chief rivals to Kap Auteuil is Stolen Silver, who produced a dominant front-running show on his first begin for Sam Thomas at Market Rasen 4 weeks in the past.
Like Lawes, Thomas is cautious of getting carried away.
He mentioned: “He is in good condition. He is bought to step up on what he did the final day, however we’re proud of him at house and I hope he places up a pleasant efficiency for us once more.
“He loves leaping and he is a keen-going kind, so the drop again to 2 miles is ideal for him actually.”
Different contenders embody Magic Saint, who received the race 12 months in the past for Paul Nicholls, and Editeur Du Gite from Gary Moore’s yard.