Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls provides the insight on his seven runners at Ascot on Friday including his best chance in the penultimate race on the card...
Paul has runners in every race at Ascot on Friday.
Step up and dry ground will suit him
12:35 - Dargiannini
The form of his close second to the useful An Tailliur in a photo finish at Taunton three weeks ago looks useful. He led three out that day and was only just caught by the winner in the last 100 yards and has since been raised 2lbs. The way he kept on that day suggests he will be well suited by this step up in trip. The more it dries at Ascot the better for Dargiannini.
Plenty of promise points to another good run
13:10 - Complete Unknown
He has shown plenty of promise on both starts since joining us this season. He would have gone close on his debut for us at Warwick but for getting a bump near the line and again ran very well when runner up to Ree Okka at Chepstow. Going up in trip should be ideal for Complete Unknown, an impressive winner of a bumper in Ireland in the spring.
Decent chance of improving on debut second
13:45 - Thyme White
I was very pleased with his debut over fences at Wincanton a month ago after a rushed preparation following a wind op in the summer. He jumped soundly that day and kept on nicely to finish second to Amarillo Sky. He is bound to have improved for the run and will appreciate the drying ground at Ascot. Decent chance.
Unbeaten in five and in with a great chance
14:20 - Knappers Hill
This looks a good race but the favourite Jonbon seems a short enough price given what he actually achieved in winning an ordinary race nicely at Newbury. I have plenty of faith in Knappers Hill who is unbeaten in five starts, continues to progress and has a great chance.
Best chance of the day should go close
14:55 - Pic d'Orhy
He was sailing along in the lead at Newbury and looked all set to win until he fell four out at Newbury last time. He does need to pick his feet up because that is not the first time he has ended up on the floor. I'm hoping that he has learned from that fall and can get his act together over fences because he has so much ability. Pic d'Orhy has done loads of schooling since Newbury and the frustrating thing is that he always jumps well at home. With a clear round he will go close to winning.
There's little between this young duo
15:30 - Henri The Second and Hugo's New Horse
We had the one two in this Listed race a year ago with my daughter Megan on Knappers Hill just beating Harry Cobden on Stage Star. We again run two lovely young horses this time and I find it hard to split them. Harry is on Henri The Second who won his bumper impressively at Chepstow in October and came clear in the final furlong. He has continued to please since then.
Megan is on Hugo's New Horse who was very green in the first half of the race on his debut at Worcester in October before getting the hang of things and finishing with a flourish to snatch the verdict in the final strides. He has come on plenty since then and is ready for this step up in grade.
Paul's best chance on Friday - Pic d'Orhy in the 14:55: "He is smart and should go close with a clear round."