Paul Nicholls has four runners on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, as well as three at Doncaster, and he's hoping for a great start to his afternoon...
"Best Chance. Storm Arising EW - 13:55 Cheltenham. It's hard to split my pair in the Pertemps but Storm Arising looks to have a sporting each way chance."
A strong gallop will suit
The usual strong gallop in the Pertemps will play to the strengths of Storm Arising who showed a great attitude to win in a tight finish at Lingfield before getting to the front too soon at Sandown where it looked as though he felt he had done enough. He comes here on the back of a decent success early in January at Chepstow where he galloped on powerfully. I've kept him fresh for this and Bryony Frost gets a good tune out of him.
Solid form and this has been the target
13:55 - Southfield Harvest - NON-RUNNER
This has been the target for Southfield Harvest all season and I do like his chances. He is progressing nicely, stays well and although he hasn't won this season his form is solid. His half brother Southfield Theatre was beaten a nose in this race in 2014 and ran some of his best races at Cheltenham so it would be great if Southfield Harvest could go one better in first time cheekpieces.
Ideal trip and he looks great
Spin back 12 months and he was still in with a shout going to the last fence in the Gold Cup before fading on the hill. It's been hard to find the key to him since he joined us in the summer and he's been a bit disappointing although he did travel strongly in the King George before stopping quickly when we found that he had bled. I've changed a few things with Real Steel who looks great and worked really well at Wincanton recently. The more it dries up before the race the better it will suit him and the Ryanair trip is ideal.
Spot on after a couple of promising runs
I am expecting Shantou Flyer to go well and he is spot on after after two promising runs at Wincanton. I was hoping he would win last time and wasn't happy that he was raised 5lbs for getting beaten when he was ridden by a 7lbs claimer, though he has since been dropped 1lb. Shantou Flyer was third in the Foxhunters a year ago, has won twice at the track, is in good shape and should be competitive.
Schools well but needs to improve
She wasn't comfortable at Kempton on her debut in a bumper where she was hanging left handed the whole way and will be much happier going left handed at Doncaster. Stanley Stanley schools great at home over hurdles but obviously needs to improve.
Another who needs to improve
He has been big and backward up to now and has fallen twice on three starts which is very unusual for one of ours. He does need to improve on what he has shown so far and will be a better horse with another summer on his back.
Trip and ground should suit very well
She has been knocking on the door this season and three miles on a flat track at Doncaster on good ground will suit her very well. She has a nice racing weight and has a decent chance.
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