Paul Nicholls 2021-22 Season Preview: Runner by Runner Guide to my Chasers

Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls talks through his exciting Chasers

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls reveals all as he discusses his Chasers ahead of the new season.

"Frodon has done very well over the summer and is still as enthusiastic in his work as ever. I am thinking of taking him to Down Royal for the Grade 1 Chase before he defends his crown in the King George."


Clan Des Obeaux

AGE: 9yo
NH FORM: 1/126/412514/2123/41152/218/2321-1
Official Rating: 172
EARNINGS: £830,836

Clan des Obeaux 2021 1280.jpg

He had an amazing season once we put cheekpieces on him. We toyed with the idea before Newbury and once he was just beaten there he was definitely going to wear them next time. They definitely sharpened him up at Aintree where he won the Grade 1 Betway Bowl hard on the bridle by 26 lengths and I thought he had a chance in the Irish Gold Cup at Punchestown, a track I always felt would suit him. Clan was brilliant in victory there and brave, too.

The cheekpieces helped focus his mind and this season we are deliberately taking him straight to the King George. He has had a bit longer on holiday and is enjoying a nice, slow prep for Kempton on Boxing Day when this time we will ride him more positively from the start. Clan keeps on winning, he is a great horse and I'm sure he can go close to winning a third King George. I really do. The plan for him after Kempton is Newbury, Aintree and Punchestown.


Frodon

AGE: 9yo
NH FORM: 1/3F543185/11101F115/32321350/12111/3314/14151-
Official Rating: 167
EARNINGS: £970,789

Frodon and Frost win KG2020 1280.jpg

He is a marvel and has forged a terrific partnership with Bryony Frost. They began last season with a fine front running success at Cheltenham off a handicap mark of 164, then landed the King George before a superb, spirited win in the Oaksey Chase at Sandown on the final day of the campaign.

Frodon has done very well over the summer and is still as enthusiastic in his work as ever. I am thinking of taking him to Down Royal for the Grade 1 Chase before he defends his crown in the King George. I'm sure he will run a big race again at Kempton. We will decide about the Cheltenham Festival later in the season while considering other options including the Irish Gold Cup as I feel the track at Leopardstown should suit him.


Greaneteen

AGE: 7yo
NH FORM: 3/611/01114/12341-
Official Rating: 168
EARNINGS: £193,918

Greaneteen 2021 1280.jpg

He has made remarkable progress since winning a novice handicap Chase at Ascot off a mark of 132. He is up to 168 now after a stellar season culminating in a thrilling defeat of Altior in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown. Greaneteen is still a young horse and his rate of progress has surprised me. We were still finding our way with him last season and as he had been very free at Newbury in February we chose to settle him in at Cheltenham off the pace.

At Sandown Bryony was the only one sharp enough to follow Altior. She got the tactics spot on and off Greaneteen stayed on very strongly up the hill. He won decisively and was the best horse on the day.

The Tingle Creek at Sandown is his No 1 target and he will have a run beforehand in the Haldon Gold Cup which he won last year. He will need to be a superstar to win it off 168 but he needs a race somewhere to take the freshness out of him. After that he will probably go for the best two mile chases. He jumps well and the faster they go the better it suits him.


Cyrname

AGE: 9yo
NH FORM: 521/56/7121214/3711/12F/1PP-
Official Rating: 168
EARNINGS: £360,604

Cyrname-1280-ascot.jpg

He looks awesome at the moment and will miss the King George this time as we don't think Kempton is his track. He is likely to head back to Wetherby first for the Charlie Hall which he won in convincing style last year. Then I might keep him fresh for a spring campaign. Cyrname looks as well as he has ever done and given the ease of his success at Wetherby I can't see that going left handed is an issue for him.

At Sandown Bryony was the only one sharp enough to follow Altior. She got the tactics spot on and off Greaneteen stayed on very strongly up the hill. He won decisively and was the best horse on the day.

The Tingle Creek at Sandown is his No 1 target and he will have a run beforehand in the Haldon Gold Cup which he won last year. He will need to be a superstar to win it off 168 but he needs a race somewhere to take the freshness out of him. After that he will probably go for the best two mile chases. He jumps well and the faster they go the better it suits him.


Politologue

AGE: 10yo
NH FORM: 21U210/11214F/111241/14422/251/124-
Official Rating: 168
EARNINGS: £999,373

Politologue Betfair Signs 1280.jpg

He has been a wonderful flag-bearer for the yard and has now run at six Cheltenham Festivals which is quite something. I trained him a bit differently last season and it paid off when he won the Tingle Creek on his return to action. He then ran some good races and was maybe over the top at Aintree where he bled. Politologue still loves his work in the mornings and could start off in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham or maybe go straight to the Tingle Creek. We will not over race him.


Hitman

AGE: 5yo
NH FORM: 2O1/12F13-
Official Rating: 151
EARNINGS: £52,885

Hitman flying with Frost 2021 1280.jpg

I think the world of Hitman who I'm sure is a Grade 1 winner waiting to happen. He will makes his seasonal debut in the Haldon Gold Cup over just short of two and a quarter miles which is an ideal trip for him. Then we can make a plan for him afterwards but he is going to get stronger and stronger and had only just turned five when he ran so well at Aintree in April. He was a little free there but still looked like the winner going to the last before not quite getting home. Hitman has plenty of speed and a fast run Tingle Creek will suit him very well.


Next Destination

AGE: 9yo
NH FORM: 1/142/11131/2112-
Official Rating: 153
EARNINGS: £209,886

Next Destination 1280.jpg

The intention is to take him straight to the Betfair Chase at Haydock if the ground is nice and soft. Then we will see after that. He is a good horse and I was thrilled with what he achieved last season given that he had been of the track for two and a half years.


McFabulous

AGE: 7yo
NH FORM: 1711/2411/13128-
Official Rating: 156 (Hurdles)
EARNINGS: £131,857

McFabulous1280.jpg

He is an exciting horse who was always going to be a chaser but will not be running immediately as he has had a little setback after injuring his withers. All being well we are aiming to have him ready to run in a novice Chase at the Ladbroke meeting at Newbury at the end of November. I felt last season that his wind was catching him out so he has had an surgery to sort that out. I see McFabulous as a high-class novice over a trip.


Bravemansgame

AGE: 6yo
NH FORM: 1/36/211132-
Official Rating: 149 (Hurdles)
EARNINGS: £64,408

Bravemansgame 1280.jpg

He is such an exciting horse, has a serious engine and jumps brilliantly at home. He won a point-to-point before joining us and will stay three miles as he showed at Aintree. But he is not slow and I am aiming him at the Rising Stars at Wincanton in November over two miles, five furlongs, which looks perfect for him. Ground permitting I've always thought it is handy to have a prep race first, and now we've had plenty of rain he will have an entry at Chepstow and Newton Abbot at the weekend.


Threeunderthrufive

AGE: 6yo
NH FORM: 21/11161-
Official Rating: 141 (Hurdles)
EARNINGS: £42,232

ThreeUnderThruFive1280.jpg

He has an unshakable temperament to go with bags of ability and developed into a smart novice over hurdles last winter. He kept improving all season and is a nice prospect for fences although he wasn't the most natural jumper at first. He was very fluent during his latest schooling session and could start at Chepstow early in October.


Flic Ou Voyou

AGE: 7yo
NH FORM: 4/110/23222/11132532-
Official Rating: 138 (Hurdles)
EARNINGS: £50,184

FlicOyVoyou1280.jpg

He is a lovely chasing type and everything he achieved over hurdles was a bonus. He was ultra consistent last season and ended up with a cracking run in second place at Sandown in the Novice Championship Final. He has the size and scope for chasing, jumps well and doesn't want soft ground so he will be ready to go early over two or two and a quarter miles.


Fidelio Vallis

AGE: 6yo
NH FORM: 2/7F11/24211-11
Official Rating: 149
EARNINGS: £58,713

FidelioVallis1280.jpg

He is one I like, has already won four on the bounce, and remains a novice over fences until November 1 so he will go to Chepstow if it is not too soft, and then Cheltenham in October. He is an improving horse, looks great and enjoys good ground.

**

Don't miss Paul's insight on his:

Thoughts for the season ahead
Hurdlers
Juveniles, new recruits & dark horses

Get a Free £10 Bet – Every Day!

From October 6-12, we are Doubling our Daily Rewards! Stake £20 on Multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £10 bet to use on Multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle within 48 hours. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles