Paul Nicholls: Views on my Saturday runners at Aintree, Chepstow and Sandown
Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls discusses the form and chances of his runners as he sends them into action at Aintree, Chepstow and Sandown on Saturday afternoon...
"Warriors Tale had a nice prep run for this over the Mildmay fences a month ago, staying on steadily under top weight to be fourth over a trip short of his best. He’s in great shape now and goes back to Aintree with a solid chance in this."
Present Man aiming to build on career best performance
13:30 - Present Man
He jumps so well I've been keen to try him over the National fences for a while and this looks the ideal opportunity following his career best performance in winning the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton a month ago.
While he looks fantastic, goes on soft ground and has definitely improved this season I am hoping they don't get any more rain at Aintree.
In the past, Present Man tended to jump a bit right handed which would not be ideal at this track but he jumps much straighter now. I am really looking forward to seeing him operate over these big fences because I think he is made for the Grand National.
Warriors Tale is in great shape
15:15 - Warriors Tale
He was one of our team in this year's National and I was hopeful of a decent show from him until the ground turned bottomless on the day. Even so he ran ok for a circuit but he was never gong to last home in such testing conditions and was eventually pulled up two out by Sean Bowen.
Warriors Tale had a nice prep run for this over the Mildmay fences a month ago, staying on steadily under top weight to be fourth over a trip short of his best. He's in great shape now and goes back to Aintree with a solid chance in this.
Greaneteen is going nicely now
12:15 - Greaneteen
I was planning to start him off in this country at Taunton at the end of November but pulled him out on the day as the ground was a shade too quick. It's good to finally get him out here because his only previous race was more than 500 days ago in France when he finished third to Beau Gosse, a three times winner at Listed level.
Greaneteen then suffered a minor tendon injury which caused him to miss last season. A nice, scopey horse for the future he has taken a bit of time to come to himself but is going nicely now.
Can Dynamite Dollars seize his big chance?
13:50 - Dynamite Dollars
Was always going to be a chaser and duly won impressively on his debut over fences at Market Rasen in October, readily beating Highway One O One who has since franked the form. We then pitched Dynamite Dollars in at the deep end in a Grade 2 Novice Chase at Cheltenham and he didn't disappoint, finishing an excellent second to Lalor who earned rave reviews for his performance.
While we are up against it taking on Lalor again at Sandown it is another race on different day in softer ground conditions and faint heart never won fair lady. So we will give it a go with Dynamite Dollars who continues to please at home, jumps and travels well and deserves a shot at this Grade 1 race.
More steady progress expected from Easyrun de Vassy
12:55 - Easyrun de Vassy
A big, green, athletic baby bought at the Cheltenham sale in May, he showed the right attitude in winning a couple of point-to-points in Ireland earlier that month. He ran nicely on his debut for us at Chepstow late in November, before tiring late on, and should benefit from the experience.
Easyrun De Vassy is a work in progress and I am looking for a bit of improvement from him on his return to the same track.
Storm Arising unlikely to blow away rivals yet
14:25 - Storm Arising
Much like Easyrun de Vassy he is on a learning curve and quite novicey though hopefully will have come forward from his first run when he finished sixth in a division of the maiden hurdle at Chepstow on November 21. Storm Arising first caught my eye keeping on stoutly to be third in an Irish point where a couple of clumsy jumps cost him ground at a key stage of the race.
He lacked a bit of confidence when we first schooled him at Ditcheat but he is getting the hang of things now with practice, so I am hoping for an improved effort here.
Truckers Lodge is ready for the rain
15:05 - Truckers Lodge
Joined us in the summer after winning in good style at Southwell and was then a bit disappointing for us first time. Truckers Lodge has been waiting for soft ground since running very well a couple of months ago at Worcester.
We do like him and think he will make a nice staying chaser in time. First, though, now that the rain has come he should be competitive in three mile handicaps over hurdles like this with conditions in his favour. The bonus here is that Lorcan Williams can claim a handy 5lbs.
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