Starchitect heads 10 runners for Cheltenham Matt Hampson Foundation & NSIF Silver Trophy Chase

Starchitect is set for a quick turnaround in the £50,000 Grade Two Matt Hampson Foundation & NSIF Silver Trophy Chase (2.40pm, 10 runners) at Cheltenham tomorrow on day one of The April Meeting, Wednesday, April 19.
 
The limited handicap, staged over an extended two and a half miles, has been won by the popular chasers Buywise (2014), Champion Court (2013) and Poquelin (2011) in recent years.
 
Trained by David Pipe for owners Paul and Clare Rooney, Starchitect (Tom Scudamore, 10st 7lb) was third behind Sizing Codelco when tackling three miles and a furlong for the first time in a Listed handicap chase at Aintree on April 8.
 
That came on the back of a good fifth behind subsequent G1 scorer Road To Respect in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate over tomorrow's course and distance at The Festival on March 16.
 
Jason Maguire, racing manager to Paul & Clare Rooney, said today: "David Pipe is happy with Starchitect after Aintree and, if he is happy, then we are happy.
 
"Starchitect did not get the trip at Aintree. He travelled well and, although he could have been a bit sharper with his jumping, Tom was happy enough but just said he didn't get home.
 
"He has run well at both Cheltenham and Aintree, so you never quite know how much that takes out of them, but we are hoping he can put in another good performance tomorrow."
 
Starchitect's nine rivals include Thomas Crapper (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste, 10st 4lb), who was fourth behind Road To Respect at Cheltenham, and top-weight Village Vic (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson, 11st 10lb), successful twice in G3 handicap chases over the course and distance.
 
Last year's winner Voix D'Eau (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily, 10st 11lb) is bidding to become the first dual winner of the race since 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Norton's Coin took the spoils in 1989 and 1991. Stablemate Henryville (Harry Fry/Niall Madden, 10st 6lb), eighth in the Topham Chase last time out, also runs.
 
Paul Nicholls saddles Art Mauresque (Nick Scholfield, 11st 5lb) as he tries to close the gap on Nicky Henderson in the trainers' championship, while Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies team up with Festival Trials Day scorer Foxtail Hill (10st 6lb).
 
Un Beau Roman (Paul Henderson/Tom O'Brien, 10st 4lb), a winner over two miles at The Open in November, Dresden (Henry Oliver/James Davies, 10st 8lb) and Casino Markets (Emma Lavelle/Aidan Coleman, 10st 4lb) complete the field.
 
Talented novice William Henry (Nicky Henderson/Davy Russell) heads a select line-up for the opening £16,000 Citipost Novices' Hurdle (2.05pm, five runners) over an extended two and a half miles. The seven-year-old has not raced since finishing second to Wholestone in the G2 Neptune Investment Management Classic Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, January 28.
 
Eleven horses are set to go in the richest hurdle race on the card, the £20,000 Arkells Brewery Handicap (3.15pm) over an extended two and a half miles. Nicky Henderson looks to have strong claims with Divine Spear (Nico de Boinville) following good efforts behind Air Horse One and Brio Conti in valuable handicap hurdles at Ascot and Kempton Park respectively.
 
Qualando (Alan Jones/Tom Scudamore), victorious in the 2015 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival for Paul Nicholls, Its'afreebee (Dan Skelton/Ian Popham) and Coral Cup ninth River Frost (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) also run.
 
Veteran chaser Any Currency (Andrew Tinkler, 12st), a popular 14-year-old trained locally by Martin Keighley, tries to win the £12,000 Racing UK HD SKY342 Handicap Chase (3.50pm) for the second year running.
 
Racing tomorrow starts at 2.05pm, with the las race due off at 5.30pm.
 
The April Meeting continues on Thursday, April 20, with a seven-race programme restricted to mares.
 
After racing on Thursday, four equine superstars - Sprinter Sacre, Valegro, Big Star and Chilli Morning - will parade (5.50pm) before the Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Race at 6.15pm run in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony charity.
 

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