Saturday's racing could give us the latest instalment of clues for the Cheltenham Gold Cup as Last year's winner Native River and this seasons King George VI Stakes winner Clan Des Obeaux are set to do battle in the Betfair Denman Chase.
The 2018 Cheltenham winner for trainer Colin Tizzard will be looking to undergo the same preparation as he did this time last year when going on to take this Grade 1 contest at Newbury before heroically making all to land the Friday feature at the festival.
There are still 10 possibles for the feature at Newbury on Saturday and Clan Des Obeaux is a strong candidate to feature in the contest off the back of his superb but shocking win at Kempton on boxing day.
(Credit Racing Post) Tizzard said: "This is Native River's prep race for the Gold Cup. I think the course at Newbury will suit him. He is a strong stayer and he has very good form around Newbury. If they have the forecast rain and it’s good to soft, he’ll be there.”
Native river is currently favourite for the clash on Saturday at 1/1 with Clan Des Obeaux in second favourite at a slightly better 6/4. In the Gold Cup Market they are near the top of the market at second and third favourite in behind Irish raider Presenting Percy.
The Betfair Denman Chase could also field some other strong runners in the contest with Nicky Henderson leading the line with two potential runners in the way of Beware The Bear who landed the spoils in his last contest and Gold Present could also feature for the trainer.
Mark Bradstock also has a strong double pairing to take to the Berkshire track on Saturday with his 2016 Gold Cup winner Coneygree.
Another potential contender for Bradstock is Thomas Patrick who was a leading Novice last season but this year has not raced to the same standard and was very disappointing on his latest outing in the Ladbrokes Trophy at the same course.
With the Irish Gold Cup seeing just the four runners from a potential of 10 just before the off it means Newbury may have gained some more classy runners for this feature with Irish raiders coming across the pond.
Anibale Fly and Noble Endeavour could lead the line for Ireland and could be joined by an English force of 2016 Grand National runner up Last Samuri and Ballyhill, who make up the final entries at this stage.