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Scudamore pleased with Next Sensation

The nine-year-old was allotted 10st 11lb but that is likely to change if top weight Top Gamble (11st 12lb) and Somersby (11st 9lb) do not run.

“There’s no point thinking about it too much at this stage otherwise you’d tie yourself up in knots wondering who is carrying what,” said Scudamore.

“We’ll just concentrate on getting him there in the best shape possible. His mark is only 1lb higher than last year, that’s the main thing.

“He’s in good form and I’m very pleased with him at present.

“Cheltenham dries up quicker than anywhere and a bit of sun on his back has done him the world of good.

“If we get usual Cheltenham conditions that should be fine.

“We had to try him over further earlier in the season as he’d gone up in the weights and he’d won a point-to-point, but he’ll be happier back over two miles.

“I’m very pleased with him, we’ve had a smooth run and while it’s a big ask to do it again, he’s as well as he could be.”

Next Sensation is the general 8-1 favourite for the closing race of the Festival.

In the Ultima Handicap Philip Hobbs’ Sausalito Sunrise has been given top weight but connections have mooted the possibility of supplementing him for the Gold Cup.

The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase looks like being a condensed affair with the top 20 horses separated by just 2lb, Ballyalton and Aloomom are among those at the head of affairs.

Nicky Henderson’s Different Gravey is top of the list for the Coral Cup, Alan King’s Gibralfaro has the honour in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle with Gordon Elliott’s Taglietelle highest rated in the Pertemps Network Final.

Top Gamble also tops the weights for the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, followed by Taquin Du Seuil and Village Vic, while Colin Tizzard’s Theatre Guide has 12st 3lb in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

Paul Nicholls’ Irving is 7lb clear of Sign Of

A Victory in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, with four horses, including Willie Mullins’ Blood Cotil, heading the weights for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

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