Paul Nicholls has runners at three venues on Saturday, and here the Betfair Ambassador discusses the chances of them all on what will hopefully be a successful afternoon...
"Best chance: Grand Sancy - 13:50 Newbury. He has plenty in his favour in a race I like to target."
Always runs well fresh
He is one of a number of mine who has been marking time at home, waiting for the drying ground which he needs to produce his best form. He always goes well fresh as he showed when winning first time up at Chepstow in October. This veterans race looks the perfect opportunity for him to bounce back after a couple of below par runs under big weights.
Sancy has loads in his favour in a race we target
I've booked Daryl Jacob for Capeland as they got on so well together in victory two months ago at Wincanton. While this horse can handle most types of ground it is fair to say he is hard to place because he is on a stiff enough handicap mark. However the flat nature of the course at Newbury is very much in his favour.
Grand Sancy won impressively at Chepstow in October before a blip at Wincanton when he choked a little bit and half panicked after making a mistake on tacky ground. Basically his wind is fine and I've held him back for the spring because he can't handle the type of deep mid winter ground we've had over the past three months. We know Grand Sancy goes well fresh, he will relish the ground, the trip is right and his best form has been racing left handed so he has loads in his favour in a race we have farmed in recent times with nine winners in 15 years.
Ideal opportunity for Hitman as long as ground is okay
Getaway Trump is also declared at Doncaster and that is where he runs unless the ground there is too quick. In that case he would switch to Newbury. Getaway Trump isn't quite as good over fences as I was hoping but he is pretty consistent, has already won twice this season and is at his best on good ground.
Hitman is a really exciting young chaser and was bang in contention, going easily at Sandown last time in a Grade 1 Chase until he was a bit unlucky to fall just as the race was coming to the boil. This looks an ideal opportunity for Hitman to get back on track but I will be checking out the ground at Newbury before giving the go ahead for him to run and will not risk him if conditions dry out further.
Learning with experience and should run well
He is a nice prospect who is learning with experience and has started favourite on both starts. He showed bags of promise when just beaten on his debut at Wincanton before going one better in another tight finish at Huntingdon. He should again run well.
Deserves his chance in this better race
He has kept improving as he learns to settle better in his races which is key to his performance and the form of his latest win at Wincanton is red hot with the horse he beat 20 lengths hacking up earlier this week. He is very much going the right way and deserves to take his chance in this better race.
On an attractive mark
He is another of ours who continues to progress, he stays well, the trip is ideal and he will enjoy the drying ground. On what he has achieved Flash Collonges is on an attractive enough mark of 133, and he has a decent chance in a competitive race provided he doesn't find the track too sharp.
Two decent chances in a competitive race
Christopher Wood is up 7lbs to a mark of 150 after his latest success at Musselburgh so Angus Cheleda's 7lbs claim is obviously a big help. The first two were a long way clear of the rest that day and I'm hopeful that Christopher Wood can again be bang there at the finish in a strong field of runners.
Solo made a big impression on his debut in this country a year ago in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton but the horses he beat that day have hardly advertised the form. Solo has not found life easy racing off a stiff handicap mark this season but it has dropped to a more realistic level now and he has started to come together in his work over the past couple of weeks and is showing us the right signs. It wouldn't surprise me to see him run well at a nice price.
Will love the track and has good claims
He won tidily on his debut over fences and then ran a blinder when second at Newbury before getting stuck in the mud last time at Ludlow so you can put a line through that run. Eritage will love the track at Kelso and we have been waiting for this drying ground for him. He has good claims in this with Dan Skelton's Eclair d'Ainay the one to beat.
Doncaster - Consistent and is at best on good ground
I've declared Getaway Trump here and at Newbury but the plan is to run him at Doncaster provided the ground isn't too quick for him by Saturday. If that happens he will switch to Newbury. Getaway Trump isn't quite as good over fences as I was hoping but he is pretty consistent, has already won twice this season and is at his best on good ground.
Get up to £20 in free bets for Cheltenham with our superb offer
You can still get up to £20 in free bets for Cheltenham in our fantastic Festival offer. Just bet £20 on the Exchange on each Saturday of racing to qualify. T&Cs apply. For full details click here.