We have had already had an abundance of clues as to who may ultimately prove successful in the seasonal highlight of the Cheltenham Festival in March, but we are set for more this coming Saturday as its trials day at Prestbury Park.

With five Graded contests on offer in all, there’s plenty to look forward to here, including Stayers’ Hurdle pointers in the Cleeve Hurdle, a Triumph and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Trial, as well as potential Gold Cup contenders lining up in the Cotswold Chase. Here we pick out our best betting options for each of the day’s seven contests.

12:40pm – JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m1f

Apple’s Shakira to win

Nicky Henderson has taken this prize three times in the past five years and looks to boast a strong hand once again with both We Have A Dream and Apple’s Shakira amongst the current entries.

We Have A Dream’s victory over Sussex Ranger last time out looks like strong form, but should they both make it to post on the day, preference would be for Apple’s Shakira. A full sister to the supremely talented Apple’s Jade, this one has made a mockery of the opposition in her two starts for Henderson to date – each time at this track – and getting weight from the boys here, she looks likely to take some stopping.

1:15pm – Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 2) – 2m5f

Full Irish each way

Plenty of entries at the time of writing for what looks set to be a competitive affair. With nine of the past 10 winners being aged seven or younger, it makes sense to concentrate on this age range when seeking the winner, which does allow us to narrow down the list of runners.

From the younger contenders, the one who it may be worth giving another chance to is the Emma Lavelle-trained, Full Irish. This one put in a seriously smart effort two starts back at Lingfield on soft ground and was travelling nicely into the race last time out at Haydock only to lose all momentum when blundering two from home. If able to put in a clear round here, he could well be involved in the finish and looks worth an each way punt.

1:50pm – Crest Nicholson Handicap Chase (Grade 3) – 2m5f

Singlefarmpayment each way at 10/1 with BetVictor

There’s a lot to like about the market leader Coo Star Sivola here, but with no horse as young as six having prevailed in the past decade, we will take on the Nick Williams runner with a horse at a bigger price.

The one we like is the Tom George runner, Singlefarpayment, who boasts rock solid Cheltenham form figures of 11022. He didn’t run too badly behind Gold Present last time out on good to soft ground at Ascot, but should find the softer going much more to his liking here. On good to soft or better he is just one from 16 in his career, on soft or worse going the eight year old is two from three.

2:25pm – Betbright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) – 3m1½f

The Last Samuri each way at 5/1 with Ladbrokes

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Bristol De Mai is the top-rated runner in the field this year, and even with a 6lb Grade 1 winning penalty, he is still well in at the weights with all bar Coneygree, who makes his latest comeback this time following a wind procedure. The question with Bristol De Mai remains, can he prove as effective away from the slogging mud of Haydock, scene of his 57 length Grade 1 annihilation earlier in the season? Thrashed by Might Bite in the King George VI last time out, we are willing to take him on at the prices.

We would love to see Coneygree bounce back, but the horse is 11 years old now and has had his share of issues, so also looks short enough in the betting. Take a chance instead on Kim Bailey’s The Last Samuri. This does represent a step up in class, but this one has done absolutely nothing wrong in two starts this season. First going down by just a length and a half to the useful Bags Groove despite conceding a stone, and secondly when a nine-length second to Blaklion in the Becher when conceding 6lb to that rival. We see the 2016 Grand National runner up going well.

3:00pm – Ballymore Classic Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m4½f

Pacific De Baune each way at 7/1 with Betfair

From those at the head of the market: Santini looks more of chaser in the making, Claimantakinforgan may be kept to two miles, Tikkanbar is older than a usual winner and Slate House disappointed last time. Mulcahy Hill looks the most solid following his second in a Grade 1 last time but, but at double his price a chance is taken on Nicky Henderson’s Pacific De Baune. Having been given plenty of time to strengthen up, this son of Al Namix bolted up on stable debut and possesses the potential to suggest he may well cope with this rise in grade.

3:35pm – galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) – 3m

Finian’s Oscar to win at 3/1 with Bet365

It looks like being back to Plan A for Colin Tizzard’s Finian’s Oscar here following two defeats over fences, for all that he ran perfectly well when going down to Benatar last time. He does appear to have the scope to progress as a hurdler though, and with this step up in trip also likely to suit, he looks the one to be on.

Only beaten once in five starts over the smaller obstacles – when short-headed by Bacardys on debut – he was three lengths too good for the field in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle in April and receives a useful 3lb from a number of his main rivals here. Of those at bigger prices, Ex Patriot would look interesting if making the trip over from Ireland.

4:10pm – Steel Plate And Sections Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) – 2m1f

Clondaw Castle to win

We fancy the Tom George runner Clondaw Castle to record his third win of the campaign in the day’s finale. He did the job easily last time out at Kelso, coming home four lengths clear, despite losing both front shoes in the contest and can cope with a 5lb rise. The consistent and improving Our Merlin ran well behind Call Me Lord last time and is also expected to go well.