Paul Nicholls: Flemenstide will be hard to beat in Exeter finale

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls has runners at Exeter and Musselburgh on New Year's Day

We've lost Cheltenham's traditional New Year's Day meeting but we still have Exeter and Musselburgh, where Paul Nicholls will be saddling seven runners on the afternoon...

"Best Chance: Flemenstide - 15.55 Exeter. Has a first rate chance of going one better after his promising debut at Sandown."

A handicapper for the future


12:30 - Etoile Rebelle

He is a backward type, something of a work in progress and hasn't shown much yet in two starts since joining us this season. At this stage I imagine his future lies in handicaps as he strengthens up.

Has schooled well but he'll improve for this

13:05 - Pozo Emery

He was down to run at Chepstow on Sunday until that meeting was called off. He is a nice, scopey horse and ran with promise in a bumper at Newton Abbot early in October where he showed signs of greenness. He is coming on steadily, has done plenty of schooling over hurdles and shouldn't be too far away though I'd expect him to improve for the experience.

Has improved and is the one they have to beat

15:55 - Flemenstide

He is a lovely prospect who made a highly pleasing debut in a good bumper in testing ground at Sandown. After running a bit green turning for home he stayed on well all the way to the line to finish second to a hot favourite No Ordinary Joe. Flemenstide looks to have improved for the experience and should be hard to beat.


Decent chance with step up in trip set to suit

13:20 - Accomplice

He had a long time off after sustaining an injury on his first run for us but is in good order now now and was staying on steadily when beaten two lengths in a two mile handicap at Wincanton on his second start of the season. I think Accomplice should appreciate stepping up half a mile in this and has a decent chance.

Has ran well here before

13:55 - Miranda

She has done well for the Owners Group and won nicely at Ludlow at the start of the month with the help of a good ride by our in form amateur Angus Cheleda who is having a great run in their colours. She is up 7lbs to a mark of 143 in a better race but the claim of Angus is again a bonus and she ran very well at this time track last season.

Can bounce back with flat track in his favour

15:05 - Red Risk

He came up short in a decent handicap at Ascot late in November on his second start of the season when he wasn't at all happy on the testing ground. He will enjoy better conditions at Musselburgh, a flat track that is similar to Ludlow where he won last year. So I'm hoping Red Risk can bounce back with Angus claiming a handy 7lbs.

Fair handicap mark for promising mare

15:35 - Whiskey Lullaby

She is a promising mare who has been placed on all three starts, was staying on over two miles, seven furlongs when third at Exeter last time and begins life in handicaps on a mark of 111 which seems fair. Whiskey Lullaby wants a trip and better ground and wears cheek pieces that sharpened up her jumping in a schooling session on Wednesday morning.

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