Paul Nicholls: Fidelio Vallis has leading claims after fine run at Chepstow

Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls sends a quartet to Cheltenham on Friday

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls has four runners at Cheltenham this Friday, with one horse in particular held in high regard...

"He ran right up to his best at Chepstow thirteen days ago when only just denied from recording a five timer. He led almost all the way there, jumping boldly, before tiring late on..."

Chepstow race reads well

Cheltenham 14:30 - Fidelio Vallis

He ran right up to his best at Chepstow thirteen days ago when only just denied from recording a five timer. He led almost all the way there, jumping boldly, before tiring late on after jumping the last fence.

Fidelio Vallis will improve for the run, would probably have won at two miles and will appreciate dropping back down in trip. While he has plenty in his favour at Cheltenham including the ground I am conscious that he had a hard race at Chepstow.

Staying type bodes well for Cheltenham

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Cheltenham 15:05 - Grace A Vou Enki

I thought he ran very nicely when he was a close and promising second on his debut for us at Worcester at the start of the month. He is a half-brother to Yala Enki and with hindsight we should have made more use of him that day.

Obviously he stays well and I've no doubt the stiffer track at Cheltenham will suit him well. The more rain the better for Grace A Vou Enki who has won twice over fences in France and shouldn't be long in opening his account over hurdles.

Chaser in the making

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Cheltenham 15:40 - Danny Kirwan

He is a big, scopey type who was always going to be a chaser but he has been a work in progress and has had another op to re-cauterise his palate since he won with plenty to spare at Wincanton in March. We have been marking time with Danny over hurdles and I'm hopeful that fences will be the making of him. Given that he jumps well, goes well fresh and the trip of two and a half miles looks ideal he should be competitive on ground that is in his favour.

Confidence needs to return

Cheltenham 16:15 -Saint Sonnet

He didn't progress as I expected last season after a decent first run in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He is back over hurdles as I felt he rather lost his confidence over fences. Saint Sonnet is not the best handicapped horse in England and I expect him to improve for the run as is a stuffy individual. He is wearing cheek pieces again to sharpen him up.

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