Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls is back with his first column of the season. Read on for his exclusive thoughts on his four runners at Chepstow and his Cesarewitch Stakes entry at Newmarket...
"He has been running well on the flat and I’ve no worries about the trip... I’m told he has a decent draw, am looking forward to seeing how he gets on, and believe he can outrun his odds."
Paul on Cliffs of Dover (Newmarket, 15:40)
Posh Trish can make her mark over hurdles
With plenty of rain on Friday and more forecast it feels good to be taking a team to Chepstow for a meeting I always like to target. However, it is possible some of them over the next two days may need the run at this early stage of the season.
I think the world of Posh Trish, an imposing mare who won bumpers at Cheltenham and Aintree last season and had some good form in defeat. She has summered fantastically well, her schooling has been very good as you would expect of a point to point winner and she has the power and scope to make her mark over hurdles.
Lovely horse is one to follow this season
I had no hesitation in putting this fellow in my Betfair Five to Follow even though he lacks experience.
It's fair to say he surprised me first time he ran at Exeter in February as he hadn't shown much at home. I thought he would need the outing but he travelled into the race like a good horse and won impressively. He flourished at home afterwards and his work improved out of all recognition before he won again under a penalty on his return to Exeter.
I did think about giving Master Tommytucker one run over hurdles in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow but he has been schooling nicely over fences so it makes sense for him to make his chasing debut here. He is a lovely horse who has done plenty of work and I am looking for a tidy round of jumping from him here which will shape his future. Whatever he does he will improve for the run.
Taller, stronger and ready to show his true form?
He was a bit frustrating last season as he tended to be too keen for his own good and wasn't quite finishing his races but I am hopeful he has turned a corner now as he looks taller and stronger. Grand Sancy also had an operation to sort out his breathing at the end of the season. I'm looking for improvement as we have worked hard at home on trying to get him to settle better. He should run tidily and start to show his true form.
Captain Cattistock should keep making progress
Quitely went about his business last year, winning three times over hurdles showing progressive form. The more rain the better for Captain Cattistock who would have a decent chance in this competitive race if the ground turns soft. He is an uncomplicated horse who has won a point-to-point, jumps soundly and will be going chasing after this and could be an exciting novice over fences.
Cesarewitch entry can outrun his odds
We entered Cliffs of Dover at Chepstow but he was always going to run in the Cesarewitch provided he squeezed into the race at the foot of the weights. He has been running well on the flat and I've no worries about the trip. If you look at his last run at Doncaster he was maybe a little too far off the pace at one stage but was keeping on strongly and flying at the finish and would have been bang there with another half furlong to go.
I'm told he has a decent draw, am looking forward to seeing how he gets on, and believe he can outrun his odds. My daughter Megan has been working hard to make sure she can claim her full five pound allowance so that Cliffs of Dover carries only eight stone, one pound