Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls provides the insight on his quartet of runners at Cheltenham on Saturday including his best chance of the afternoon in the opener...
Paul's Best chance - Magistrato in the 12:30 at Cheltenham: "He has thrived since a winning debut at Chepstow and has a clear cut chance."
More improvement makes him the one to beat
12:30 - Magistrato
He made the perfect debut for us at Chepstow five weeks ago with a pleasing victory by 12 lengths and the bonus is that he escapes a penalty in this Grade 2 contest. He has thrived since then, stays well and this track will suit him so, while this is a stronger race, if he improves again then I'd say he is the one they all have to beat.
Tough, fit and deserves his chance
13:40 - Mick Pastor
His winning sequence over fences came to an end last Saturday at Wincanton, where he travelled like the best horse in the Rising Stars Chase but didn't quite get home over two miles, five furlongs. Given that Mick Pastor races keenly and has plenty of pace, two miles will be much more to his liking and Harry Cobden said after Wincanton that he needs to be going back left handed. Clearly Third Time Lucki will be hard to beat with a clear round but Mick Pastor is a good horse, has plenty of experience, he's tough and fit so deserves to take his chance.
I'm still learning about this pleasing newcomer
14:15 - Simply The Betts
Both my runners in the Paddy Power Gold Cup are new to us this season. Simply The Betts hasn't raced for a year but he had a wind op in the summer and he has done nothing but please since arriving in the yard. We took him to Exeter recently for a racecourse gallop and he is as fit as I can get him without a run. I'm still learning about Simply The Betts who has smart form and finished sixth in this race a year. But he hasn't run since and has top weight so he probably has it all to do.
Over his problems but has questions to answer
14:15 - Lalor
We also gave him a wind op when he was sent to us and he has had a trouble free prep for this race with lots of work, including an away day at Wincanton when he galloped with Politologue. He went nicely there, is very fit and well and ready to run for his life. Although he did have very good form in the past he was pulled up on his last two starts so there are questions to answer. Lalor appears to be over his problems and looks fantastic but he has to do it on the track now in a really competitive handicap.