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."
4 May 2016Ainippe team consider options following Curragh spin
Trainers and jockeys praise Newcastle all-weather surface following trials
Aidan O'Brien dominates Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial entries at Leopardstown
Irish 2,000 Guineas confirmed as target for Blue De Vega
Andre Fabre unveils Royal Ascot ambition for classy Usherette
Andre Fabre resists Royal Ascot raid with French ace Vadamos
Somehow strives to earn Aidan O'Brien Oaks call-up at Chester
Roger Varian marvels at Steve Rogers Chester Cup claims
Derby hope US Army Ranger declared for Chester Vase by Aidan O'Brien
Mark Johnston duo Lumiere and Buratino to drop in distance
3 May 2016Appeal success for Robbie Colgan and David Broad over Ballinrobe bans
Injured Tommy Dowling recuperating after operation
Lingfield Saturday card in limbo
Owen Burrows leaning towards York mission with Muntazah
Gabrial's King and Venue step off reserves bench for Chester Cup
Dante D-Day at York for John Gosden and Foundation
Robin Of Navan set to swerve Lingfield trial for France
Aidan O'Brien - US Army Ranger will learn plenty at Chester
Found finds magic touch for Mooresbridge Stakes success
Derby tilt not ruled out for Guineas runner-up Massaat
Awtaad too good for Blue De Vega in Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh
Aidan O'Brien - Classic trials likely to be key to Minding plans
Steve Rogers drawn stall three in Chester Cup for Roger Varian
Somehow bids to continue Aidan O'Brien dominance in Cheshire Oaks
Aidan O'Brien ponders Irish 2,000 Guineas run for vanquished Air Force Blue
2 May 2016Drama at Bath as horses narrowly avoid two people on track
Bryan Smart reveals Dante option at York for Kentuckyconnection
Australian ace Chautauqua to duck Royal Ascot
Prix Ganay glory for Dariyan and Alain de Royer-Dupre
Swiss Range speeds to Pretty Polly success for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden
Minding all business for 1000 Guineas glory at Newmarket
Oasis Fantasy returns to winning ways at Newmarket
Usherette on top for Andre Fabre and France in Dahlia Stakes
John Gosden happy with Crazy Horse and Royal Artillery after Newmarket gallop
Fascinating Rock and Found clash in Mooresbridge showdown at the Curragh
'No obvious cause' for Jack Hobbs Newmarket flop - Godolphin
Hugo Palmer to delay Derby call with Guineas star Galileo Gold
1 May 2016Kevin Prendergast puts Awtaad on Classic trial in Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh
'Incredible' Maurice rules in Champions Mile at Sha Tin
Roger Varian backs Belardo to bounce back at Newbury
Roger Varian has Intilaaq in 'great shape' for Sandown mission
Warren Greatrex aims high with Punchestown hero One Track Mind
Iain Jardine considers Haydock heat for 'improving' Shrewd
National hero Pineau De Re bows out at Uttoxeter
Whiteout holds Limini for surprise Punchestown victory
Galileo strikes Guineas gold for Frankie Dettori and Hugo Palmer
Exosphere sparkles as Jack Hobbs is pulled up in Jockey Club Stakes
US Army Ranger leads Aidan O'Brien entries in Chester Vase
Knight Owl swoops for James Fanshawe at Newmarket
Profitable lives up to his name with Palace House triumph at Newmarket
Covert Love to miss Middleton Stakes at York
David Elsworth has Arabian Queen in bloom for Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket