Paul Nicholls: Momiral has a great chance at Donny and Tommy is in top order for Cheltenham

Cheltenham race action
Paul Nicholls has some good chances at Cheltenham, Doncaster and Hereford on Saturday

A busy day for Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls with chances at Cheltenham, Doncaster and Hereford. Here are his thoughts on all Saturday's runners...

"Best Chance: Monmiral - 14:40 Doncaster. Made a pleasing debut for us at Exeter and has come on for the run."


Step up in trip should suit

12:40 - Quel Destin

He ran very well first time over fences when second at this track to Eldorado Allen in a Graded race. It was obvious that day that he needs further than two miles so stepping him up four furlongs now should suit him much better. I'm sure Quel Destin will win plenty of races over fences, hopefully starting here.

Another big run expected from Saint while Capeland can get involved also

13:15 - Capeland & Magic Saint

Capeland looked to have every chance at Ascot three weeks ago when he led two out before finishing third in the race won by First Flow. In hindsight Capeland maybe got there a little bit too soon that day because he was going so well. On a different day and a different track this time there is no reason when he can't be involved again.

Magic Saint was very good when winning stylishly at this track a month ago and was in front and set to go close again at Ascot a week later under a penalty until walking through the second last fence in the race won by First Flow. His jockey Bryan Carver certainly felt he was unlucky that day. I've freshened Magic Saint up since then, am fitting him with a tongue tie for the first time, and am looking for another big run from him over a trip that plays to his strengths.

Three in the feature but Tommytucker is ready and in top order

13:50 - Master Tommytucker, Saint Sonnet & Southfield Stone

I'm thrilled by the progress Master Tommytucker has had this season after some frustrating issues with his jumping in the past. While he was impressive last time at Haydock and will love the soft ground if it rains this is the first time he has run in a really competitive race with a big field of runners but he is ready to do so. He is in top order at the moment.

Cheltenham fence head on 1280x720.jpg

I was expecting a big run from Saint Sonnet a month ago in the Paddy Power Gold Cup but he virtually cut out three from home on desperate ground and was a tired horse when he came down at the last fence. It looked very much that he either needed the race more than I thought or didn't get the trip. On better ground on the New course this time I am hoping for much better from Saint Sonnet who we are fitting with a tongue tie for the first time.

Southfield Stone loves it round Cheltenham, won round there in October and was far from disgraced when chasing home the classy novice Protekorat last time. Although he is a big outsider he is a consistent racehorse and it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see him outrun his odds.

Stamina not in doubt for Danny

14:25 - Danny Kirwan

He is going the right way and won well last time on soft ground at Ascot over just shy of two and a half miles. Danny is lightly raced and I'm sure there is more to come from him. Some might question whether he wants this step up in trip but I've never doubted his stamina and think he has been crying out for three miles.

Returns to hurdles and retains plenty of ability

15:00 - Stormy Ireland

At the start of the season I was hoping she might be a decent recruit to Chasing but she isn't very big and things didn't work out for her in two starts over fences. She had some pretty smart form over hurdles in Ireland in the past and is back to hurdles now with the mares' allowance coming in handy. Stormy Ireland retains plenty of ability and should be able to pick up a race somewhere before the end of the season.

Trip and race conditions might be more suitable

15:35 - Eglantine Du Seuil

She was a bit disappointing last week at Sandown and I fear her current handicap mark of 143 is making her so hard to place. She has come out of Sandown in good shape so I'm running her again quickly in the belief that two and a half miles might be more suitable in a mares' race.


Good run expected with amateur jockey booked

12:55 - Wild Max

He had a wind op in the summer and is up to a career high mark of 138 after winning cosily at Huntingdon so I have booked our useful amateur Angus Cheleda who still claims a handy 7lbs allowance. I'm expecting another good run from Wild Max.

He's smart and has improved for last run

14:40 - Monmiral

I was delighted with his winning debut for us 20 days ago at Exeter where his jumping was sound and he finished full of running. I hadn't been hard on him at home and half expected him to maybe need the race a bit because in the back of my mind the Exeter race was going to be a prep for this weekend either at Doncaster or Cheltenham. We think Monmiral is smart and he has definitely improved for the experience.

Hoping the rain stays away for Copper

15:15 - Give Me A Copper

He's in good form but can't really handle deep ground which is why I pulled him out of Aintree last weekend when it turned heavy. He's best on a flat track like Doncaster but I've got one eye on the weather again because rain there would affect his chances.

And finally, two good chances at Hereford

13:57 - Fast Buck

He's a nice recruit who was quite a high-class hurdler in Ireland before joining us. We sorted out his wind in the summer and he has schooled well ahead of his debut over fences in this race so I'm hopeful of a decent show from him.

14:32 - Deniliquin

He won a little hurdle race in France as a three-year-old but has been off for over 700 days since suffering a leg injury on his first start for us on desperate ground at Sandown. We've given him a full MOT this autumn including a wind op and he is going nicely at home so I'd like to think he will run tidily despite the long absence.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles