Paul Nicholls Saturday Runners Preview: Ayr conditions look perfect for Secret Investor
Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has just five runners on Saturday, all of them at Ayr on the Scottish Grand National card, and here discusses their form and picks his best chance...
Paul's best chance on Saturday - Secret Investor, 15.00 at Ayr: "Has run consistently well all season and comes here in top form."
Time to bounce back into form
13:25 - Magic Saint
A smart recruit from France who didn't run up to expectations in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham. He was fine afterwards and it could be that he wasn't suited to the undulations of Cheltenham on testing going.
Magic Saint was previously impressive in winning decisively at Wincanton over this trip on good ground and I am hopeful that he can bounce back now that conditions are in his favour. He is only five, jumps really well and his best days lie ahead of him.
Has a good chance based on recent form
13:55 - Ibis Du Rheu
He was also in the Scottish Grand National but I felt this was the better option for him as it looks the more winnable of the two.
He goes well fresh, likes good ground and I've put cheekpieces on to help him concentrate because he didn't really pick up the bridle last time three months ago at Warwick where we also found a tiny trickle of blood from his nose afterwards.
That is not a concern and Ibis Du Rheu is fine now, has had a nice break since then and has to have a good chance based on his defeat of Theatre Territory and The Worlds End at Cheltenham in October.
14:25 - Malaya
She came good in the Imperial Cup at Sandown a month ago where she would have won even more impressively on testing ground but for a mistake at the second last flight.
Malaya could have gone for a big bonus in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham a few days later but that race came a bit too soon for her so I have kept her fresh for this.
I couldn't be happier with Malaya who has won over further and loves good ground so I am hopeful she can go close.
15:00 - Secret Investor
I've had this race in mind for Secret Investor for a while. He won well at Wincanton last time, jumping soundly, making all the running and coming clear of his rivals.
Conditions at Ayr look perfect as he is suited by a big, galloping track, and the trip and ground are tailor made for him.
Secret Investor tends to come good in the spring, remains in good form at home and has solid claims.
Not a certain runner
16:10 - My Way
Is not a certain runner at this stage as it all depends on how he gets on in the final race at Ayr on Friday. If he wins comfortably and doesn't have a hard race then there is a chance he will turn out again on Saturday. I will probably make a decision in the morning.