Paul Nicholls: The views on my four runners on Saturday
Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has four runners across Haydock and Newton Abbot on Saturday. Here he gives us his exclusive thoughts on all of them...
"We won this race a year ago with Howlongisafoot and on what we've seen at home Monsieur Gibraltar should add to our score on his debut in this country."
14:35 Haydock - Southfield Vic
Although he has won twice on soft ground this season I think he is more effective on better ground so I am hoping it dries up at Haydock.
Southfield Vic stays forever and this decent prize was tempting before he goes chasing next season. Although I am hopeful of a good showing, it won't be easy for him carrying top weight so Sean Bowen's 5lbs claim will come in handy.
15:10 Haydock - Virak
His run in finishing third behind Coneygree at Kempton over Christmas looks even better now. But he had quite a hard race that day and I probably ran him too quickly next time in the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot where he was again third.
I've freshened him up since then and expect him to run well here off a mark of 144, which seems fair.
It would be a timely bonus if Sean Bowen succeeds on Virak as he is beginning to run out of time to ride the one additional winner he needs to qualify to ride Mon Parrain in the Grand National next weekend.
14:25 Newton Abbot - Monsieur Gibraltar
Monsieur Gibraltar is an exciting four year old we bought from France earlier this year to go chasing next season. He has to carry a double penalty as he has already won twice over hurdles.
The form of Monsieur Gibraltar's second victory at Pau early in February has been well advertised as the horse he beat by 20 lengths that day won at Auteuil recently.
We don't want to be aiming too high with him at this early stage so this looks a suitable place to start. We won this race a year ago with Howlongisafoot and on what we've seen at home Monsieur Gibraltar should add to our score on his debut in this country.
15:00 Newton Abbot - Ulck Du Lin
His form has been a bit in and out but he is useful on his day. He is fresh and well after only four races this season and he is on a reasonable mark.
The less rain they have at Newton Abbot overnight the better his chance and if the going turns soft then I will most likely take him out.