In his Betfair column, top trainer Paul Nicholls gives readers the lowdown on his Saturday runners.
12.40 Wincanton – Oleg
He has done well on the flat this year, winning at Southwell and Pontefract and was in the process of running a good race at Perth two months ago when he got in a bit tight to the third last and fell when he was just behind the winner.
Oleg was arguably unlucky that day and will be well suited by the trip of two and a half miles on a flat track at Wincanton.
I’d like to think he is still quite nicely handicapped over fences.
1.15 Wincanton – Flic Ou Voyou
He’s a nice, big, strong, scopey horse who wasn’t beaten very far in this race a year ago against decent opposition and has progressed to win both his starts this season.
He looks to have improved, is now rated 137 and though he has a 10lb penalty he looks to be the one to beat in this.
1.50 Wincanton – Eglantine Du Seuil
She is is one of a talented batch of horses sent to me this season by Jared Sullivan that were previously with Willie Mullins in Ireland.
She won the mares’ novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 and has been running at a high level since.
I am still learning about this mare who has settled in well although I suspect that her official handicap mark of 147 is high enough.
This is a handy starting point to show us where to go with her after a wind op in the summer.
1.50 Wincaton – Cill Anna
She improved for us all through last season, is game and genuine and won her last three races on soft ground but I have a feeling she will enjoy the better underfoot conditions at Wincanton.
Cill Anna might just need the run and all being well she will go next for the three mile hurdle at Haydock in three weeks time.
2.25 Wincanton – Grand Sancy
We campaigned him at the top level last season, he was very consistent and looked very good when beating some useful types in a listed novice chase at Chepstow a month ago in which he picked up a 5lb penalty.
Track and ground are ideal for him in this race which always looked as though it might cut up.
I think Grand Sancy will go very well in a Grade 2 event I like to target. He's my best chance of a winner on Saturday.
3.00 Wincanton – Solo
He is a lovely, lovely horse who made a huge impression when winning the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton in a canter on his debut for us in February and you can forget his subsequent run in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham because he had been on the go a long time and didn’t act on the track.
Solo has done really well over the summer since being gelded and his schooling at home has been mustard.
I am expecting a big show from Solo although if I find the ground is really quick on Saturday I might think twice about running him.
3.00 Wincanton – Diego Du Charmil
He is so versatile, equally good over fences and hurdles, will love the drying ground at Wincanton and is in the form of his life after chasing home Silver Streak and Verdana Blue at Kempton recently.
You can rely on Diego to run his race and he should be thereabouts again.
3.35 Wincanton – Present Man
He is going for his third win in this race, looks fantastic at the moment and with a dry forecast ahead I’m hopeful of a big run on ground he relishes.
Present Man wasn’t right last season but he put that behind with a typically resolute success on his comeback at Chepstow a month ago when he jumped for fun and came out best in a triple photo finish.
Even with top weight he has plenty in his favour as he was only raised 2lb for his Chepstow success.
3.35 Wincanton – Danny Whizzbang
He is a horse I’ve always liked but for one reason and another he is still lightly raced at the age of seven.
He was impressive in winning at Newbury on his debut over fences on goodish ground last November before finishing third in the Kauto Star Chase at Kempton.
Danny goes well fresh, the ground is fine and I could see him running well in this ahead of a tilt at the Ladbroke Chase at Newbury in three weeks' time.
3.35 Wincanton – My Way
He looks better than he has ever done and came good last time at Stratford where he made all the running, jumping soundly, in a maiden hurdle.
I’ve had this race in mind for My Way for ages and deliberately gave him a prep race over hurdles so that he didn’t go up 5lb or 6lb in the weights.
He didn’t wear his usual cheekpieces that day but I am putting them back on now.
With our talented claimer Bryan Carver taking off a valuable 5lb, My Way has every chance at the foot of the handicap over a trip that he needs these days.
4.05 Wincanton – Silent Revolution
He is a nice store horse by Shokolhov from a good jumping family and has been working with a group of our youngsters that have been running well this season.
We won this bumper a year ago for his owner Colm Donlon with Confirmation Bias and I’ve had this race in the back of my mind for Silent Revolution since he came back into training in the summer.
2.40 Aintree – Modus
He missed last season after jarring himself up in the Galway Plate in 2019.
While we gave him lots of time he seems very fit and well now and is ready to go.
I’m hopeful of a tidy show from Modus who is bound to improve for the run after such a long absence.
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