Paul Nicholls: Exciting Solo could live up to expectations at Kempton

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls has 11 runners at Kempton
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Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls explains why an exciting juvenile is his best chance of the day and discusses his other 11 runners at Kempton on Saturday afternoon...

13:50 - Solo

"He is a lovely individual, quite forward, had a nice early morning spin round Wincanton behind Cyrname a couple of weeks ago and, while he has to defy a 5lbs penalty, I’m hopeful he can live up to our expectations."


Knocking on the door

12:40 - Storm Arising

He ran well at Wincanton on Boxing Day despite hitting the front a bit too soon. He is knocking on the door and looked to have a leading chance back at Wincanton a week ago until the meeting was abandoned. He shapes as though he has the ability to win one of these handicap hurdles and the flat track at Kempton should be ideal for him.

Needs to improve his jumping

13:15 - Master Tommytucker

We have given him plenty of time to get over a fall when he was bang there with every chance in a decent race here on Boxing Day. He was travelling well at the time and has done plenty of schooling since. I do rate Master Tommytucker who has plenty of potential but lacks a bit of experience and needs to brush up his jumping.

He's earned his chance

13:15 - Southfield Stone

I don't like running good novices against each other against but options for them are severely limited. Southfield Stone couldn't have won any easier for Bryony Frist at Musselburgh last time, jumps soundly, is reliable and won at this meeting a year ago. He deserves a shot at this.

13:50 - Solo

He is an exciting juvenile whose debut for us a week ago at Wincanton was blown away by Storm Dennis. Although Solo lacks experience with only two starts and is taking on much classier horses in this he did earn earn a BHA handicap mark of 146 after he won by 15 lengths at Auteuil in November.

He is a lovely individual, quite forward, had a nice early morning spin round Wincanton behind Cyrname a couple of weeks ago and, while he has to defy a 5lbs penalty, I'm hopeful he can live up to our expectations.

Could go very close

14:25 - Diego Du Charmil

With Quel Destin heading to Fontwell on Sunday and Pic D'Orhy waiting for Aintree I am switching Diego Du Charmil back to hurdles here. His handicap mark makes him hard to place over fences and there are not many suitable races for him. He will appreciate the better ground, runs very well fresh and wouldn't surprise it me to see him go very close.

On a roll and might be in the mix

15:02 - Bathsheba Bay

He looked very good last time at Musselburgh and has progressed swiftly as he gains experience over hurdles. On the face of it he has to improve enormously to feature here as this is a Grade 2 contest and his BHA mark of 121 suggests he has plenty of ground to make up on some of his rivals. But he is on a roll, was rated 87 on the flat and is definitely capable of being in the mix.

Never rule out Black Corton

15:35 - Black Corton, Romain de Senam, Adrien Du Pont &

We run four in this and I have a feeling that Black Corton (pictured below) is going to run a big race. He has been a star for us, always goes well following a break and comes here nicely freshened up after nine weeks off. You can never rule him out because he tries his heart out and excels on flat, right handed tracks. Some decent horses have won this in the past under top weight and even with 11st 12 lbs on his back Black Corton is bound to go well.

Black Corton blue sky 1280.jpg

Romain de Senam is 11 pounds higher than when finishing fourth in this a year ago and is one of ours who has been waiting for better ground. So we put him away after a successful summer campaign and this has long been the target ahead of a tilt at the Grand National.

Adrien Du Pont was third in this race a year ago and would have finished a lot closer but for finding trouble on the final bend. He is 6lbs lower now, has won over this trip at Kempton and is at his best in a strongly run race on a flat track. So Adrien has plenty going for him but he has to be dropped in well off the pace and his style of running means that he does need the run of the race.

Sametegal is a rock solid horse who ran a very good race at this track over Christmas when he was beaten barely two lengths into fourth place. As he is best fresh I do try to space out his races. Sametegal is in great shape and he has a lovely light racing weight with Bryan Carver's claim taking off another 5lbs.

Needs the run after time off

16:10 - Favorito Buck's

He has had almost a year off after picking up an injury on his last start when second at Ascot in March. While he is ready to go again now I'd imagine he is bound to need the run and will improve for it.

Promising mare should enjoy conditions here

16:45 - Doin'whatshelikes

She is a really nice mare we bought at the Cheltenham sale after she showed plenty of promise in two point-to-points in Ireland. She ran well enough on horrible ground at Sandown in November on her debut for us and I expect her to appreciate the better conditions at Kempton.

Paul's Best Chance on Saturday - Solo (13.50): "Has done nothing but please since joining us from France with a BHA rating of 146."

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