Paul Nicholls has six runners across Ffos Las, Sandown and Stratford, and expects a strong showing from a couple. Find out his thoughts here...
"Hitman looks a useful addition to the team"
He is a nice prospect that we bought after he won on his third start at Pau in January in very soft ground. We like what he see, he jumps soundly, and a mark of 141 would make life for him quite hard in handicap hurdles. So we have decided to go chasing with him now and try to take advantage of the four year old allowance. He has had a wind op since he last ran.
He was off for a long time after winning his point-to-point in Ireland and ran really well on his debut for us when he was third at Uttoxeter last season. I'd been very hard on him before that race which could explain why he blew out next time at Wincanton in testing ground. He had a wind op over the summer and I've trained him differently this time and minded him, so win, lose or draw I'd expect him to come on for the run at Ffos Las.
He is another sent to us from Willie Mullins this season and hasn't run since he was unplaced on his debut over fences a year ago in a Beginner's Chase. We are still getting to know Getareason who has done plenty of schooling since he arrived and is ready to start.
He ran his usual solid race at Aintree recently and is so consistent he doesn't get any help from the handicapper. So Bryan Carver's 5lbs claim comes in handy at Sandown. The two of them got on very well when they were third in the Betway Chase at Kempton in the spring. The plan is for Sametegal to go for the £100,000 final of this series at Sandown in January.
He is a beautifully bred prospect by Flemensfirth out of Master Minded's sister and cost plenty as a three year old. He has taken a long time to come to himself but it looks like our patience is paying off now because he is just starting to show us what he can do at home. Whatever he achieves at Sandown he will improve for the run.
She ran tidily on both starts for Pam Sly last season, finishing third at Market Rasen to a horse of Dan Skelton's that was fourth in the bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. Rainyday Woman was then second at Ludlow when she was a bit green. We bought her in the spring, gave her a wind op and she is very fit and well. My daughter Megan takes the ride and I am expecting a decent show from them.