Paul Nicholls: Couldn't be happier with Monmiral ahead of Betfair Fighting Fifth

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls has some strong chances across three cards on Saturday

Paul Nicholls is looking forward to a big day of racing on Saturday with some good chances in the major contests at Newbury and Newcastle, including with unbeaten Monmiral in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle...

"Best chance. Mr Glass - 12:55 Newcastle. He looked smart when winning at Chepstow and should follow up here."

Newbury

Has improved but she needs some rain

12:10 - Rainyday Woman

She was a useful addition to our team last year, has won two bumpers and was far from disgraced when a close second on her debut over hurdles at Ludlow early this month where she needed the run and the experience. She has improved plenty since then but I would like to see rain for Rainyday Woman because she needs a test of stamina. It's possible If I find the ground at Newbury is a bit lively on Friday then I might keep her for another day.

Schooling well and will love the ground as it is

12:40 - Flash Collonges

He had a brilliant first season learning his trade over hurdles, winning three times and culminating with a pleasing victory in a Class 2 novice race at Kelso. But given his size and scope Flash Collonges was always going to be a staying chaser and his schooling at home has been good ahead of his first start over fences. He worked nicely on the recent gallops morning at Newbury and I'm really looking forward to his debut over fences. He will love the ground and doesn't want it turning soft.

Two sound chances in a competitive race

13:15 - Grand Sancy & Kapcorse

Grand Sancy ran well up to a point at Chepstow last month before tiring late on as lack of peak fitness fold. Quite a few of mine were needing their first runs at that stage of the season but I've grafted him hard since then and feel that two miles six furlongs on good ground is just the ticket for him.

Kapcorse went nicely the other day ridden by Sir Anthony McCoy during a gallops morning at Newbury. While he has had issues in the past and hasn't run since this meeting a year ago, because of an injury, he has had an uninterrupted prep since he came back to us in the summer. Kapcorse won this race three years ago and I'm hopeful he can be competitive again. I think he has sound each-way claims.

Keeps improving but this is tough off this mark

13:50 Calva d'Auge

He has struck up a fruitful partnership with our talented claimer Alex Cheleda who again takes off a handy 5lbs in this competitive handicap on ground that suits him best. They shared another victory at Kempton 19 days ago and Calva d'Auge keeps going up in the handicap. He also keeps improving but I'd say this is his toughest task so far off his new mark of 146.

Has been trained for the race and has a first rate chance

15:00 - Enrilo

I've trained him for this race since he can back from his holidays in July and he hasn't missed a beat at home. The Ladbroke Trophy looks a perfect race for him after his brilliant run in the bet365 gold Cup which he lost in the stewards' room. Enrilo travelled like a high-class horse that day and comes straight here because I didn't want to risk him getting a penalty by winning a prep race. He enjoyed an away day on the gallops morning at Newbury last week and Harry Cobden was really pleased with the way he worked. He has already been successful at Newbury and looks to have a first rate chance in a race where second season chasers have a great record.

Ridoto has a lovely racing weight and is the pick of my pair

15:35 - Getaway Trump & Il Ridoto

Getaway Trump didn't show any interest at all at Ascot a month ago when his jumping went to pieces. In fairness he is handicapped right to the hilt. I'm not sure what to expect now but most of his winning has been done on flat tracks and I'm hoping that he will run a bit better given plenty of pace to aim at.

Il Ridoto was a bit unlucky on his debut for us at Newton Abbot where a horse galloped into him at the last ditch. He was going fine at the time and the form of the race has worked out well. Il Ridoto has a lovely, light racing weight to carry and I've won this race before with a four-year-old.

Newcastle

Superb jumper should take all the beating

12:55 - Mr Glass

He is a lovely, big progressive horse who won stylishly at Chepstow a month ago on his debut over hurdles. He worked nicely at home on Wednesday morning, will be fine on the ground and from his early days with us he has always been a superb jumper. Hopefully he will take all the beating.

He is ready to go but needs a bit of ease in the ground

15:15 - Monmiral

I could not be happier with Monmiral who is another of mine who worked nicely during the gallops morning at Newbury last week. He is ready to go and I want to run him but it all depends on the ground at Newcastle. We will check out the conditions on Saturday morning and there is plenty of rain forecast so hopefully there will be enough ease in the going to let him take his chance.

Doncaster

In very good form and track suits

14:18 - Ecco

He had an entry at Newbury but this race looks the better option because he likes nice ground and has winning form at Doncaster, a big galloping track that plays to his strengths. Although he is a big gross horse, I've done as much as I can with him and he is in very good form, fit, well and fresh.

Hoping cheekpieces sharpen him up

15:28 - Flic Ou Voyou

The ground at Doncaster looks ideal for Flic Ou Voyou who will be much happier stepping up three furlongs because they went a bit quick for him over the minimum trip at Uttoxeter last time. He's a sound jumper and I'm hoping cheekpieces might sharpen him up a bit.

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