Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has runners in action at Lingfield and Newbury on the final Saturday afternoon of racing in 2017. But his main focus is Taunton where he sends six into competition...
"If You Say Run has now won two of her three races over hurdles and, while this Listed contest is obviously tougher, she is going the right way, will be rated 130 plus after Wincanton and fully deserves a crack at this decent prize."
14:55 - Zubayr
Is a smart handicapper who clearly couldn't cope with testing conditions over hurdles at Wincanton and then Sandown three weeks ago. It was a different story for Zubayr in the summer on the flat when he was able to use his speed to good effect on sounder surfaces at Kempton and Haydock. He continues to please at home, will be much happier on the Polytrack at Lingfield and, with my daughter Megan claiming a useful five pounds, he looks to have a solid each way chance.
13:50 - Dynamite Dollars
Has been running consistently all season but was a bit too free for his own good last time when we rode him prominently in the race at Sandown, won by the classy On The Blind Side. So we are going to change the tactics at Newbury and ask Bryony Frost to drop out Dynamite Dollars, get him settled and then try to make her ground on him as the race comes to the boil. With Bryony's five pound claim definitely a bonus, I'd say Dynamite Dollars has a fair chance on his best form.
12:15 - Kings Inn
An interesting juvenile prospect who was due to run at Kempton on Wednesday until I pulled him out when the ground became too testing as it was heavy in places. Soft going here will probably not be ideal for Kings Inn either but we need to get him started over hurdles and conditions will not be as demanding as at Kempton. He had just the one promising run on the flat in Ireland, staying on strongly to finish second over a mile at Killarney. King Inn's schooling over hurdles has been good from day one and, although this isn't the strongest race, I'd expect him to improve for the experience.
12:50 - Dan McGrue
Won three point-to-points this spring for Jack Barber, looking better each time, but he blatantly didn't stay three miles 16 days ago at this track after travelling strongly through the race. Dan McGrue looked the likely winner going to the second last that day but didn't get home so we are hoping that dropping him back in trip to two miles, three furlongs, should suit him much better.
13:25 - Silent Steps
Came close to victory on her first try over fences at this track 16 days ago where she jumped well and led three out and was still in front at the last fence before going down narrowly to Kelvingrove. We are putting cheek pieces on to help Silent Steps who is a genuine mare but tends to race a bit lazily. She should again run well though I'm not convinced she wants the ground as soft as it is likely to be.
14:00 - Moabit
Did very well for us on the flat this summer, winning twice on soft ground, ridden by Megan.
Moabit had a run round Southwell nine days ago when he hated the kick back. While he is fit and likes soft ground he is not well handicapped over hurdles so it makes sense to take seven pounds off his back with the claim of Henry Morshead.
14:00 - Challico
He has been running very well this season, most recently finishing a respectable third last time at Taunton behind Diese de Bieffes. His ability to handle soft ground is a bit of a question mark because he has never encountered it. But we know he stays further than two miles, so he could be competitive if he handles the conditions.
15:15 - If You Say Run
Bounced back by bolting in at Wincanton on Boxing Day after an unexpected reverse at Ludlow where things didn't quite go her way. We were not sure if she would enjoy the testing ground at Wincanton but she sailed through it and you wouldn't know she'd had a race. If You Say Run has now won two of her three races over hurdles and, while this Listed contest is obviously tougher, she is going the right way, will be rated 130 plus after Wincanton and fully deserves a crack at this decent prize.