Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat Diary: Daryl Jacob to ride Bravemansgame in Saturday's Betfair Chase

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls says Bravemansgame is likely to run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday

Paul Nicholls reflects on a brilliant weekend, when Stage Star won the Paddy Power Gold Cup, and offers an exclusive update for this Saturday's Betfair Chase at Haydock...

  • Bravemansgame runs in Betfair Chase if ground not heavy

  • Weather forecast encouraging for Bravemansgame

  • Triple BFC winner Daryl Jacob to ride Ditcheat star


The big breaking news first - Bravemansgame is set to run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday and Daryl Jacob, who rode Bristol De Mai to victory three times in the race, will take the ride.

Paul Nicholls said: "Bravemansgame schooled this morning [Monday] nicely. Daryl Jacob rode him. He runs on Saturday. Daryl's going to ride him. He's got all the experience in the world. He rides out a little bit here, so he got on great with him this morning.

"We've confirmed Bravemasgame this morning, and we're just going to monitor the ground during the week. If it is heavy, he definitely won't run, but I'm encouraged by the weather forecast. Looks like it's drying up. It might be good to soft in which case he will definitely run.

"He has improved for his run the other day and looks in great shape."


Watch Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat Diary


Win puts Stage Star right in the Ryanair mix

As for the weekend just gone, it was a brilliant one for Team Ditcheat and there was no question which horse was the star of the show.

"It was a great performance for Stage Star to overcome his mistake in the last and win the Paddy Power Gold Cup by four lengths. Nine times out of ten it is game over after a mistake like that so to see him pick himself up and gallop up the hill was impressive.

"He was fit and fresh and well which reflects well on the team. The win puts him right in the mix for the Ryanair Chase [at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2024]."

Paul was delighted with his other runner in the race, Il Ridoto, who finished third: "He will improve for that run and go for the December Gold Cup."

Sonigino ran well but don't write off Afadil

There were positives and negatives to take from Sunday's Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Paul said: "Sonigino ran well in the Greatwood Hurdle and, if he doesn't go chasing, may be one fo the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton.

"Afadil threw his toys out of the pram a bit. I don't think he likes the ground as soft as it was on Sunday. You will see the best of him on better ground. We will put cheekpieces on him next time. You did not see the best of him at Cheltenham."

Two to watch midweek

Both of Paul's midweek horses to watch won last week so make a note of two he's highlighting on Thursday:

"At Wincanton on Thursday I run two nice horses. Beau Balko is in the Novices' Chase. He needed a run at Ffos Las the other day. He will go well here. The other is Il Pino, a lovely horse who won his only four-year-old point to point. He goes in the Novices' Hurdle. I am looking forward to running both horses at Wincanton."

Watch Ditcheat Decs on Friday for Paul Nicholls' pre-weekend update and get his exclusive views on all of his runners in his Betfair column.


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