Paul Nicholls: Cheltenham Festival Twitter Q&A

Paul has high hopes for stable stars Zarkandar (left) and Silviniaco Conti
Paul has high hopes for stable stars Zarkandar (left) and Silviniaco Conti

Paul Nicholls took over the @BetfairRacing feed on Monday night and it was a hugely informative hour with the champion trainer covering a whole host of issues on Cheltenham and beyond. Here are the highlights...

"When asked who is rated as his best chance in any of the handicaps, Paul said Calipto 'will go very well' in the County Hurdle, while his 'dark horse' selection was Keltus in the Novice handicap on day 1."

Silviniaco Conti is looking to continue a fantastic season following victories in the King George and the Betfair Chase at Haydock and Paul was bullish about his stable star's chances in the Gold Cup.

When asked if he was concerned about Conti's lack of success at Cheltenham, Paul stressed that 'records are there to be broken' while adding that everyone at Ditcheat was 'very happy with him'. 

Nicholls tweet.JPG

He also revealed that the King George success was his highlight of the season so far.

The Betfair ambassador's confidence in his runner's chances for the Gold Cup was reinforced when asked for his Lucky 15 selections for the championship races at Festival. 

He said: 'Faugheen, Dodge (Dodging Bullets), Zarkandar, Conti or Faugheen, Mr Mole, Saphir de Rheu & Conti.' A solid selection sir!

The World Hurdle selection, Zarkandar, is 'in great form and not ground dependent'. according to Paul, who added that there was 'not a lot' between his runner and Saphir de Rheu.

Zarkandar will be ridden by Noel Fehily while, 'all being well', Sam Twiston Davies will saddle Sam Winner and Dodging Bullets.

When asked who is rated as his best chance in any of the handicaps, Paul said Calipto 'will go very well' in the County Hurdle, while his 'dark horse' selection was Keltus in the Novice handicap on day 1.

As for the horse 'everyone should be looking out for', not from Ditcheat, Paul was straightforward: 'Faugheen'.

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Check out all the questions and answers on @BetfairRacing and don't forget to bookmark our Cheltenham pages for daily previews and analysis in the run-up to the Festival and throughout

Paul on his running plans...

Southfield Theatre will run in the RSA

Just A Par will run in the Kim Muir

Caid Du Berlais will run in the Festival Plate on day three

Le Mercurey will most likely go for the Martin Pipe Conditionals Hurdle

Aux Ptits Soins is headed for either the Coral Cup or the County Hurdle, with a slight preference for the former. Lac Fontana has the same targets, with the choice dependent on ground.

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