Paul Nicholls: Exclusive thoughts on my Saturday runners at Ascot

Paul sends four runners to Ascot on Saturday
Paul sends four runners to Ascot on Saturday
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Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls provides insights into the form of his four runners at Ascot on Saturday afternoon...

"He had a public gallop at Newbury with the champion hurdler Buveur D’Air just before the Ladbroke Trophy so I’d say he is straight enough and I’m delighted to have him back."

- Paul Nicholls on Divin Bere

13:15, Ascot - Adrien Du Pont

He was an excellent third in a decent novice chase last time at Newbury behind Willoughby Court and Yanworth, is in top form at home and this track and trip should be ideal for him against two opponents owned by JP McManus.

I've always thought Adrien Du Pont would make a smart chaser and his jumping was very good first time over fences at Fontwell and again at Newbury.

While he has a bit to find against the other two on official ratings he is a Grade 1 winner over hurdles, is getting 11lbs from the pair of them and is not just making up the numbers.

15:00, Ascot - Ptit Zig

I thought he ran really well back over fences nine days ago at Taunton, jumping well and keeping on at the end racing round a sharp track that didn't play to his strengths.

Ptit Zig is another who doesn't hold any secrets from the handicapper and isn't the easiest to place off a mark of 156.

But we know he is a high-class horse who stays well and while he wasn't always the most fluent jumper of a fence when he was younger he is much better now and it would not be a surprise to me if he outruns his odds.

15:00, Ascot - Frodon

Has been asked some serious questions this season against Might Bite and Top Notch so has run very well in the circumstances and the way he finished both times it looked as though he is crying out for three miles.

Frodon is still paying the price for a magnificent campaign last season when he won six times from eight starts over fences so Bryony Frost's claim will take a handy 5lbs off his back.

On his best form he looks to have solid each-way claims in a competitive handicap.

15:35, Ascot - Divin Bere

Was a smart juvenile last season for Nicky Henderson and is having his first run since joining us barely a month ago.

I actually bought Divin Bere in France and liked him when we briefly had him in training here at Ditcheat last autumn before he was transferred to Nicky who did very well with him as he was second in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham before chasing home Defi de Seuil at Aintree.

He had a public gallop at Newbury with the champion hurdler Buveur D'Air just before the Ladbroke Trophy so I'd say he is straight enough and I'm delighted to have him back.

But it is always hard for four-year-olds in their second season so we are taking 5lbs off his back with the help of Bryony Frost's claim.

Given that we've not had Divin Bere long I'm hopeful rather than confident of a big run.

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