The Cheltenham Festival is over for another year but there's no let up in the action for Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls, as he sends runners to Kempton, Fontwell and Uttoxeter on a chilly Saturday afternoon...
Paul's best chance on Saturday: "14:05 - Copain De Classe: Was always going to be a useful chaser and is going the right way now."
Sao needs to relax
A lovely prospect who is far too keen for his own good and needs to learn to settle and relax to fulfil his potential. We dropped him in on his debut for us a month ago at Wincanton but he still tried to pull Harry Cobden's arms out and, although he flattered briefly at the second last flight, he had nothing left for the finish. Sao is a long term project who is learning his job and will be a good horse once he learns to switch off.
Talented chaser can go close
A talented young chaser who made a highly promising debut over fences Ascot before he enjoyed a nice canter round at Fontwell when his only rival departed early. He jumped well that day and the plan was always to come here rather then enter him at Cheltenham. Should go close in this though doesn't want the ground too soft.
Zubayr will enjoy step up in trip
I am hoping the ground dries out for Zubayr who enjoyed a nice spin round at Kempton 12 days ago when finishing second in a jumpers bumper. While he has been a bit disappointing over hurdles, he should appreciate this step up in trip to two miles, five furlongs and the five pound claim of our talented amateur Lorcan Williams comes in handy.
Orbasa needs to improve
Not at his best recently and has questions to answer. I am looking for better from him here on this flat track, if he can get into a good rhythm over the fences. I might pull him out if the ground is too soft.
Favorito Buck's can kick on
A big, scopey horse who has been frustrating at times but finally came good in style at this track three weeks ago when he jumped and travelled well and found plenty at the finish to hold off Kayf Blanco. He has always threatened to be a decent chaser and, now that he has got his head in front, I'm hopeful that he can kick on and progress. Solid chance if it is not too soft in this race for horses that were balloted out at Cheltenham.
This Cereal has a long way to go
An inexperienced baby who is still learning about racing. He was too free last time at Ludlow where he ran green when they turned the tap on. Rather like Sao, he is a work in progress who should be all right once he learns to settle.
A first win for Rhythm is a Dancer?
17:00 - Rhythm Is A Dancer
Hadn't shown too much at home before his debut in a bumper at this track last month so I was thrilled to see him keeping on well to finish second to Severano in a strong field of nice prospects. That was a highly promising first run. Rhythm Is A Dancer has sharpened up a bit since then and looks to have a fair chance of going one better.
Coillte Lass is fit and well
Hasn't progressed as I expected this season and is difficult to place as she didn't take to fences and is still on too high a mark over hurdles. But she is fit and well and our promising claimer Alexander Thorne takes a useful seven pounds off her back.
Magoo back after a long absence
Has his problems which is why he hasn't run for almost two years since showing a smart turn of foot in winning on his debut over hurdles at Enghien in the spring of 2016. He is fine now and has had plenty of graft recently, but I'd say he is bound to need the run after such a long absence. Alexander Thorne rides him, too.
Silsol will love the soft ground
I was expecting a big show from this mudlark last time at Haydock but he parted company with Noel Fehily at the first fence and then jumped round riderless in front of the field. Bryony Frost got a good tune out of him previously in the Coral Welsh National and is back on board here.
Silsol will love the ground but has never been the most natural chaser in the world. That is why we switched him back to hurdles. But if Bryony can get him into a nice rhythm over these fences, he can go well despite giving weight all round.
Paul best chance on Saturday: Copain De Classe. Was always going to be a useful chaser and is going the right way now.