RACING: Lavelle targets Showcase prizes at Cheltenham
11:52am Saturday 12th October 2013 in Sport
RACING returns to Cheltenham with The Showcase on Friday,
October 18 and Saturday, October 19 – and in-form Hampshire trainer Emma Lavelle is targeting prizes on both days.
Saturday's seven-race card features a pair of £50,000 handicaps, including the Equus-Fine
Dining At The Festival Handicap Chase (2.35), which Lavelle is going for with last year's runner-up Easter Meteor.
The lightly-raced seven-year-old found subsequent Paddy Power Gold Cup third Nadiya De La Vega two and a half lengths too strong 12 months ago, but followed up in emphatic fashion at Doncaster in December.
After that success, he returned to Cheltenham in April and finished fourth behind Champion Court in the Grade Two MacMillan Cancer Support Silver Trophy.
Lavelle said: "Easter Meteor will run in the Equus-Fine Dining Chase. It looks an ideal place to start him off.
"He came back from his summer break very well and it has taken a little bit of time
to get the weight off, but he looks great and seems to be working nicely.
"My horses weren't right for a lot of last season and he needs nice ground, so consequently
he had a light campaign.
"He loves Cheltenham and galloping tracks like that seem to suit him best."
Lavelle is also considering the £20,000 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.15),
one of the highlights of Friday's card, for last season's Pertemps Final runner-up
Captain Sunshine. The seven-year-old ran a number of fine races in defeat last term,
but has not won since taking a novices' hurdle at Cheltenham in April, 2012.
Lavelle said: "Touch wood, Captain Sunshine seems to be in great order and, like Easter Meteor, he prefers better ground – he ran a blinder in the Pertemps Final on nice ground.
"We will see how he gets on next week, but afterwards he could go on and compete
in conditions' hurdles over three miles."
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