Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat Diary: Stage Star will bounce back in the Ryanair Chase

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul says put a line through Stage Star's defeat at Cheltenham

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls talks to Barry Orr about a busy few days for Team Ditcheat which included a Grade 1 winner...

  • We will have Stage Star back for Ryanair

  • Challow winner Captain Teague is improving all the time

  • Paul's best chance stars in Taunton treble win

A Grade 1 winner for Ditcheat at Newbury on Saturday saw the team in a buoyant mood. It was followed by a poor performance from Stage Star at Cheltenham on New Year's Day but all is not lost with the Ryanair Chase contender, as Paul explained.

"Stage Star was a little bit sore after the race. He may have pulled a muscle somewhere. He made a couple of mistakes going up the hill at Cheltenham, although I wasn't sure he was going too well in that ground before that anyway.

"We have load of time between now and the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. That's why I was keen to run him now... The spring ground for the Ryanair will be totally different [to the ground at cheltenham on New Year's Day] and we will get him back for that."

Watch Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat Diary

Captain Teague's progress is thrilling

Paul was delighted with Captain Teague's victory in the Challow at Newbury on the Saturday and said:

"He is improving mentally and physically all the time. We are thrilled with the way he is improving.

"We will make a plan for him in the spring but we are building his career to be a novice chaser this time next year.

Individualiste to run again after Taunton treble

Also on Saturday, Team Ditcheat had three winners at Taunton - including Paul's best chance Individualiste from his Betfair column - and he said:

"They were three nice winners. I was very pleased with Swift Hawk on his debut. He had jumped very nicely at home and won nicely here.

"Centara has plenty of ability. He just needs to get his head down and gain more experience.

"I really fancied Individualiste. He loves heavy ground and will have an entry at Wincanton on Saturday. We need to bring him out quickly with the ground as it is.

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