Nicky Henderson is thankful Cheltenham's big meeting looks likely to beat the weather as it enables him to get Sprinter Sacre back in action in the rearranged Victor Chandler Chase.
Henderson had National Hunt racing's new superstar primed for Ascot last weekend, but the weather scuppered those plans and it looked like Festival Trials Day was heading in the same direction earlier in the week.
However, a mammoth effort by the groundstaff has given the meeting every chance of taking place on its scheduled Saturday date and Henderson has been happy with Sprinter Sacre since his effortless win in the Tingle Creek Chase last month.
"He's absolutely 100 per cent and ready to go. He had a routine check on Monday and was perfect so we are very much looking forward to it. Cheltenham has done wonders to get the meeting on and I think everybody is grateful. It was a pity Ascot went, but we're very pleased to get a run into him now," said Henderson.
"Everything has gone well since Sandown and we are very happy with him."
All through the summer, the Paul Nicholls-trained Sanctuaire was mentioned as a horse who could challenge Sprinter Sacre. He looked awesome when winning at Sandown at the end of last season, but he was easily brushed aside in the Tingle Creek.
Since then he has got back on the winning trail at Kempton, showing a versatility previously unseen when battling back to win, and Nicholls said: "We're fully aware of the task facing Sanctuaire, it looks a very tough ask. But he showed at Kempton that he's not a one-trick horse and we'll give it another shot."
Somersby won the race at Ascot 12 months ago, beating the subsequent Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Finian's Rainbow. He was trained by Henrietta Knight then but is now in the care of Mick Channon, although Knight still has an eye on proceedings.
Dominic Elsworth has ridden him for the past two seasons and will be on board once more. He said: "I'm looking forward to the race and getting him out this season. I've sat on him and he's in great nick. He looks fabulous and I'm expecting a good run.
"Obviously there's the Frankel of the jumps (Sprinter Sacre) to beat. We're taking him on and don't forget he (Somersby) beat Finian's Rainbow in this race last year and he went on to win the Champion Chase at the Festival. He's a horse that's class himself and I just hope he can run a nice race."
25 April 2017Ormonde Stakes target for one-time Derby favourite Midterm
Cilaos Emery foils Melon as Labaik digs his heels in at Punchestown
Royal runner Call To Mind not out of running for Derby place
John Gosden mapping out path to Classic riches with powerful three-year-old team
Nicky Henderson gives Altior entry in Celebration Chase at Sandown
John Gosden gives Cracksman Epsom sighter in Derby Trial
Roger Charlton keen to recruit James Doyle for 1000 Guineas hope Fair Eva
Nichols Canyon and Lil Rockerfeller clash in Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown
Sizing John back on Gold trail at Punchestown for Jessica Harrington
Cheltenham Festival winners wage war at Punchestown
Jamie Codd angling for more Bumper glory with Punchestown-bound Fayonagh
John Oxx remembers a 'very decent fellow' following death of Johnny Roe
Washington DC back to winning ways at Navan
Disko in tune for Punchestown assignment
Hugo Palmer - Galileo Gold and Frankie raring to go in Lockinge
Hugo Palmer yet to decide on Newmarket Guineas bid for Escobar
Sizing John and Coneygree on collision course in Punchestown Gold Cup
Title rivals Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson target Sandown gold
Gordon Elliott hopes Labaik is 'on another going day' at Punchestown Festival
Un De Sceaux and Fox Norton clash in Champion Chase at Punchestown
Cheltenham Festival hero Penhill primed for Punchestown prize
24 April 2017Fozzy Stack to pitch Diamond Fields into Athasi Stakes at Naas
John Gosden takes aim at Epsom Derby Trial with Cracksman
Charlie Hills has Ascot in mind for Mootaharer
Muntazah earmarked by Owen Burrows for Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown
Mighty Missile hits the target in new military race at Wincanton
Torcedor foils Order Of St George in Vintage Crop Stakes
Vociferous Marina makes all the noise in Salsabil Stakes triumph
Too Familiar impresses for Johnny Murtagh on debut at Navan
Khukri continues hot streak for trainer-of-the-moment Jessica Harrington
Newmarket experience will stand Eminent in good stead - Martyn Meade
Nicky Henderson wary of late title charge by Paul Nicholls
Un De Sceaux the headline act on day one of Punchestown
Magical Memory gearing up for Duke Of York comeback
23 April 2017Injury forces dual Classic heroine La Cressonniere into retirement
Crimean Tatar team consider Yorkshire Cup mission
Nico de Boinville released from hospital after Scottish National fall
Michael Halford and Shane Foley on the double at Limerick
Colin Keane lands another treble at Limerick
'Great thrill' for William Haggas as exciting Call To Mind wins for the Queen
Vicente boosts title hopes for Paul Nicholls with Scottish National repeat
Impressive Barney Roy foils Dream Castle in Greenham Stakes
Straightforward success for Dabyah in Fred Darling at Newbury
Seamie Heffernan happy with Order Of St George for Vintage Crop test at Navan
Ruby Walsh feels Willie Mullins requires a miracle to win trainers' title
22 April 2017Nico de Boinville taken to hospital for assessment on neck injury
Muntahaa digs deep for John Porter success at Newbury
Annie Power in foal to Derby hero Camelot
Bacchus back with a bang at Newbury
Shutter Speed and Gracious Diana boost Oaks hand for John Gosden
Ayr double helps Paul Nicholls continue strong finish to jumps season
John Gosden takes aim at Newbury prize with classy Dabyah
Order Of St George flies the Ballydoyle flag in Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan
Midterm gets back to work in John Porter Stakes at Newbury
Dream Castle follows Frankel route in Greenham Stakes at Newbury
Premier Bond given licence to thrill in Scottish Grand National at Ayr