Paul Nicholls' Cheltenham begins with a pair of runners in the Champion Chase and another two in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Get his exclusive thoughts on the quartet here...
"I remember saying to Harry Cobden as he walked back in afterwards that we would win the Boodles with Thyme White and here we are!"
Cobden's ride ever improving
15:30 - Dynamite Dollars
Both of mine in this are well capable of giving the big guns a run for their money. We hadn't done much with Dynamite Dollars before his comeback from a year off at Newbury so I was thrilled with the way he travelled and jumped before tiring going to the last fence. He has improved bundles since then, is a brilliant jumper and does everything right at home.
Harry Cobden has chosen Dynamite Dollars as he is an improving young horse who gave him a great spin at Newbury where he had them all on the stretch with two fences to go.
Hood for Politlogue
15:30 - Politologue
He ran a massive race in this a year ago when finishing second to Altior after landing upsides at the last fence. He wasn't beaten far giving weight to Defi Du Seuil here in November and we've kept him fresh since he bled next time in the Tingle Creek.
Politologue is very fit, is in a great place at the moment and the softer the ground at Cheltenham the better his chance. John Hales was keen for Harry Skelton to ride his horse who is still only nine.
As Politologue can get wound up during the preliminaries he will wear a hood in the paddock before we take it off at the start.
Handicap mark suits Mick
16:50 - Mick Pastor
He has turned inside out since a disappointing debut for us at Cheltenham in the late autumn when he was much too keen and eventually choked. We also treated him for ulcers afterwards.
Mick Pastor looked a different horse next time at Ludlow in a tongue tie and hacked up without knowing he'd had a race. He wears a hood at home very day which has helped him learn to relax so we are trying it in a race for the first time.
A strong pace and drying ground will suit Mick Pastor who looks on a fair mark of 140 and has been pleasing in his work since an operation to help his breathing.
The Thyme could be right
16:50 - Thyme White
He has done nothing but progress since finishing a distant second to the leading Triumph Hurdle fancy Goshen at Sandown on his debut for us.
I remember saying to Harry Cobden as he walked back in afterwards that we would win the Boodles with Thyme White and here we are! He has improved with every run, won nicely at Musselburgh last month, is on a nice mark and he will not mind if it is soft.
I think Thyme White will run very well and suggest he is my best chance each-way in a competitive handicap.