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Paul Nicholls: Exclusive thoughts on my seven Saturday runners at Cheltenham

Paul Nicholls is expecting big runs from some of his horses at Cheltenham on Saturday
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Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls is in for a busy afternoon at Cheltenham on Saturday. Here he discusses the prospects of his runners and admits he can't split his two in the big race at 14:25...

14:25 - Le Prezien

"I find it impossible to split my two in the BetVictor Gold Cup. I thought Le Prezien ran a cracker on his seasonal debut at this track three weeks ago... Romain de Senam won in tremendous style at Chepstow in October."

13:15 - Black Corton

Just keeps on improving and has been on a tremendous roll, jumping and galloping and winning. Things are getting tougher now as he takes on better opposition in a stronger race but you can't knock his form and he goes very well for Bryony Frost who again advertised her skills with a brilliant and intelligent ride on Present Man at Wincanton last Saturday. Black Corton will have a break at some point but he is still improving so we will keep running him while he remains in such good form.


13:50 - Vicente


Has gone up four pounds for his second successive win in the Scottish Grand National in April which is fair enough. While he seems to be in good shape he normally needs a run or two before he reaches his peak and that may well be the case again this season. Vicente has a nice racing weight, is ready to start and the trip of three miles, three-and-a-half furlongs should be just up his street, although he would not want the ground to be too soft.


14:25 - Le Prezien


I find it impossible to split my two in the BetVictor Gold Cup. I thought Le Prezien ran a cracker on his seasonal debut at this track three weeks ago when he only just failed to reel in the bold jumping leader Foxtail Hill. He jumped very well that day which he wasn't doing at the end of last season. We have worked hard on his schooling this autumn and you could see the benefit of that last time. Although he was raised six pounds for that run the step up in trip to two and a half miles should be in his favour. I'm very happy with Le Prezien and on his best form I'd say he has a big chance.


14:25 - Romain de Senam


Won in tremendous style at Chepstow in October. After that, I ran him again quicker than ideal a week later at Stratford under a six pound penalty as the handicapper was always going to raise him a fair bit more. He did well to win at Stratford given that he ran a bit flat but I've freshened him up again since then and he is bouncing again. While Romain de Senam is now racing off a mark twelve pounds higher since the start of the season he should get the strong gallop that he needs here and he is at his best going left handed. He does need a bit of luck in running making his challenge from off the pace and if he gets it I expect him to run a major player at the finish.


15:00 - Connetable


Has been a little bit disappointing, mainly because he is on a stiff handicap mark, but I thought he ran a little bit better last time at Cheltenham last time. Hopefully that was a sign that he is coming back into form. As Connetable can be a bit moody I'm giving Bryony Frost the ride in the belief that she might be able to find the key to him. Her five pound claim should help, too. While I can't make a strong case for Connetable here, I still think he is going to win a decent race one day. I'm certainly not giving up on him yet.


15:30 - Coup de Pinceau


Starts his life in handicaps now on a mark of 125 which looks reasonable enough on his form in two novice hurdles. He ran very well when second at Kempton to the smart Lough Dearg Spirit a year ago before a minor setback put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. Coup de Pinceau then came up against a decent novice when he was put in his place by Red River the day we expected him to win at Wincanton at the end of October. He is still unexposed and looks to have a great each way chance in a highly competitive handicap.


16:00 - Posh Trish

https://btfr.co/


Made a winning start for us in a hot Mares' bumper at Aintree where she deservedly got the race in the stewards' room after being hampered by Grageelagh Girl as there was only a nose in it at the line.
I loved the way Posh Trish stuck out her head and kept trying despite being carried across the course.
She is a cracking filly, tough and genuine and, although she is now four pounds worse off with Grageelagh Girl, I am expecting her to go close again.

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