The all-weather fare may provide the bulk of the action up at Newcastle these days, but the course’s turf track is still in operation for the jumps season, and plays host to one or two excellent contests. Top of the pile when it comes to the class of the runner on show is this Grade 1 affair for the two mile hurdlers.

With a roll of honour featuring the greatest of all time in Arkle, and one of the toughest and most popular chasers in racing history in Denman, the race formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup has a well-deserved place in the upper echelons of the season’s staying chases. Rechristened the Ladbrokes Trophy ahead of the 2017 renewal, this may be a handicap affair but is a race in which it is class which often comes to the fore.

As suggested by the title of this race, stamina is the name of the game here. There will however be even more emphasis than usual on the staying power of this year’s contenders. With the ground already heavy following something of a deluge in the area this week, the possibility of yet more rain means we could be looking at pretty bottomless conditions for this one.

This weekend sees the first real top class staying chase of the season on English soil, with the Betfair Chase being the headline act on an excellent card at Haydock on Saturday. One of the main obstacles this year’s contenders will need to overcome is the ground.

When it comes to Sunday racing action, there can be few cards which top this weekend’s offering from Cheltenham, as the track lays on the third and final day of this excellent November Meeting, formerly known as The Open.

Willie Mullins is out to extend his great record at the Morgiana Hurdle this weekend. The race in Punchestown is one that Mullins’ has enjoyed over the years, and he’s likely to enjoy it even more given that Faugheen is set to make a long-awaited return in this race.

Following Friday’s opening salvo, the action continues to hot up on day two of the November Meeting with a bumper seven race card. With three Graded and two Listed contests there is plenty of quality on offer as Cheltenham serves up yet another pre-Christmas cracker.

The summer months seem to take an age to pass for fans of the National Hunt game, but for those missing the jumping action the famine is now officially over. With a number of handicap and Graded contests having already whet the appetite for the season ahead, this weekend sees the first real feast of action with Cheltenham’s three day November Meeting.

This Saturday’s racing action may be heavily weighted towards the National Hunt game, but the flat season isn’t done with quite yet. In terms of betting interest and turnover the big race of the day will undoubtedly come at Doncaster with the 2017 edition of the November Handicap.

We don’t often get up at 4am on a Tuesday morning, but we will make an exception this coming week. The reason to get the coffee going a little earlier than usual is one of the true international showpieces of the horse racing year, the historic, prestigious Melbourne Cup. Here we take a look at a few of the main contenders and pick out our best bet for the contest.