Paul Nicholls: Conditions ideal for Yala Enki in Welsh National and he looks rock solid

Yala Enki racehorse for Paul Nicholls
Yala Enki looks rock solid ahead of his Welsh National run says trainer Paul Nicholls

It's a big day for Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls who will be hoping to land the weekend's big prize, the rescheduled Welsh National at Chepstow, with one of his two runners...

"Yala Enki stays all day, has gone close in the race for the last two years and is again a big player despite carrying top weight. He looks rock solid in a race tailor made for him."

- Paul Nicholls on Yala Enki

Pozo the pick of my two and shouldn't be far away

11:45 - Montys Medoc & Poze Emery

Montys Medoc is still a bit raw and backward at this stage and hasn't shown much in two runs last month at Chepstow and Taunton. He still needs experience and I imagine his future lies in handicaps.

Pozo Emery is a nice horse for the future who ran with promise in a bumper at Newton Abbot early in October where he showed signs of greenness. He is coming along steadily, has done plenty of schooling over hurdles and shouldn't be too far away though I'd expect him to improve for the experience.

Drop back in trip might do the trick

12:17 - My Way

I'm scratching my head that My Way is still looking for his first win over fences after 11 attempts. He is a slick jumper who always travels well and won a maiden hurdle nicely at Stratford before fading late on in the Badger Ales Chase after looking like the winner between the last two fences.

He didn't get home next time over three miles. His best run last season was over two miles, three and a half furlongs at Ascot in heavy ground in a good race with a light weight. So we are hoping that dropping him back in trip with a light weight in this will do the trick.

Expect a late run with trip and ground in his favour

12:50 - Storm Arising

He probably should have won last time at Sandown because he got to the front too soon, travelling strongly, then pulled himself up in front and was caught close home. Previously at Lingfield Bryony Frost timed her run on him to perfection, waited and waited before challenging late and popping his head in front on the line. With trip and ground in Storm Arising's favour she will again be trying to produce him as late as she can.

Looks a smart juvenile and I really like what I see

13:25 - Houx Gris

He is an interesting recruit from France who has been pleasing us since he arrived early last month. We bought him at the sales early in November shortly after winning at Auteuil. I don't normally run newcomers so quickly but he settled in straight away and has adapted beautifully to our routine. He is working great, seems to be improving and looks to be a smart juvenile. I really like what I see and just hope he has acclimatised enough to give a good account of himself.

Schooled nicely and has a decent chance

13:58 - Highland Hunter

He goes over fences first time in this novice handicap after a cracking run in the competitive Listed three mile handicap hurdle at Haydock where he stayed on all the way to the line. It can't be soft enough for Highland Hunter who has schooled nicely over fences and must have a decent chance.

Conditions ideal for my pair but race looks tailor made for Enki

15:10 - Yala Enki & Truckers Lodge

Conditions will be ideal for both of ours in the Welsh National. Yala Enki stays all day, has gone close in the race for the last two years and is again a big player despite carrying top weight. He did brilliantly at Cheltenham in November when he was only just chinned by Ramses de Teillee. That was a career best in my book but he then over jumped at the first in the Becher Chas at Aintree which was just one of those things. He looks rock solid in a race tailor made for him.

Truckers Lodge is nice and fresh and was fine after he unluckily unseated Lorcan William at Kelso the day I expected him to go close. He is a relentless galloper and ran clean away with the Midlands Grand National just before lockdown, although the handicapper had his say afterwards by raising him 14lbs. Truckers Lodge ran a blinder in this race a year ago to be beaten less than two lengths by Potters Corner and will give a good account again though it will be harder for him from his new handicap mark.

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