Paul Nicholls: Grand Sancy has a big chance in race I like to target

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls has runners across three meetings on Saturday
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A busy Saturday for Paul Nicholls who has 14 runners on the day, and here the Betfair Ambassador talks exclusively about the chances of them all...

"He jumps soundly, stayed on strongly over two miles at Kempton last time and obviously wants this trip now. He improved beyond recognition over hurdles last winter, has tremendous battling qualities and comes here in top order."

- Paul Nicholls on Grand Sancy


Some good chances but Grand Sancy goes to the Scilly Isles in top order and it's a race I like to win

12:40 - Flic ou Voyou

He is a scopey type who has been in good form and probably should have won last time at Taunton when we didn't make quite enough use of him. He only lost out narrowly that day and I think he will be well suited by the stiff nature of the track as his stamina comes into play

13:15 - Dolos

He won this race a year ago and is now trying for the double off an 8lbs higher mark of 157 which makes this a tough ask. But he is fit and and a rock solid horse, a thoroughly likeable and consistent type who always tries his best. I am more hopeful than confident.

13:50 - Quel Destin

I think this drop back to two miles on soft ground at a testing track in a small field will suit him very well. The opposition led by Call Me Lord is smart but you do need a staying horse to win this race and I am expecting a big run from Quel Destin who ran okay last time.

14:25 - Grand Sancy

The step up in trip to two and a half miles is just the ticket for Grand Sancy who has a great chance in a race I always like to target. He jumps soundly, stayed on strongly over two miles at Kempton last time and obviously wants this trip now. He improved beyond recognition over hurdles last winter, has tremendous battling qualities and comes here in top order.

15:00 - Dan McGrue

The ground was not soft enough for him at Newbury last time because it was drying out all the time on the hurdles track and he is a horse who wants hock deep mud. He had previously bounced back to form at Plumpton on heavy ground and maybe Newbury came a bit to soon for him. The stiff track at Sandown will suit Dan McGrue who is on a career high mark.

Sandown jump 1280x720.jpg

15:35 - As De Mee

He ran a cracker at Aintree over the National fences before weakening late on in deep ground and was then only just beaten in a muddling race at Wincanton. He is in good shape, goes well at Sandown and the trip of three miles looks perfect for him. I am hoping cheek pieces first time might bring a bit of improvement.

16:10 - Lisa de Vassy

She has run okay on both her starts this season, is definitely going the right way and I'd say she will appreciate going up in trip to two and a half miles here off a handicap mark of 112 which looks fair. I am expecting her to go close on her handicap debut.


Miranda is in great shape, has lots in her favour, and has a leading chance

12:57 - Southfield Stone

He is the first of 11 horses I am sending to Musselburgh's two day meeting. Southfield Stone has been running well in novice chases and this looks a winnable opportunity for him to give us a perfect start to the card at his ideal trip of two and a half miles.

14:05 - Miranda

Although I was expecting an improved run from Miranda at Kempton over Christmas I don't mind admitting I was surprised at the way she won she readily. She was put up 9lbs for that but comes here in great shape with plenty in her favour as her best form is on right handed, flat tracks. Soft ground will be fine for Miranda who has a leading chance.

14:40 - Greaneteen

I was thrilled with the way he jumped and travelled on his way to an impressive winning debut over fences at Ascot six weeks ago. Although he was a bit keen that day he jumped like a natural. A mid season injury last winter means that he is a bit short of racing experience but I am hoping he can make up for lost time now with track and ground ideal for him at Musselburgh.

15:15 - Wonderful Charm

He is getting to the veteran stage now but has a fabulous record when fresh, having won first time out for the past three years. Wonderful Charm was going to run in this race 12 months ago until it was called off so he went to Doncaster instead and won in a canter. The trip of four miles at this track will suit him perfectly, I'm hopeful he can handle the ground after the rain in midweek and he will be going hunter chasing after this.

Chepstow hurdles 1280 .jpg

15:52 - Bathsheba Bay

He joined us from Richard Hannon in the autumn, is progressing nicely over hurdles and has done well since he opened his winning account last time at Taunton. While it is early days for Bathsheba Bay he looks to have a decent opportunity on his handicap debut off a reasonable handicap mark of 114 provided they don't get too much more rain.

16:26 - Southfield Vic

He is a lovely old horse, an ex handicapper who enjoyed quite a revival in hunter chases last spring ridden by Natalie Parker. He is another who wouldn't want it too soft at Musselburgh but he's ready to run and will have a similar campaign in hunter chases.


Well handicapped for Flat return and in-form jockey booked

18:45 - Scaramanga

He was a possible for the Scottish County Hurdle but I switched him to the all weather at Kempton once the rain came at Musselburgh. Scaramanga needs good ground and struggled on heavy at Ascot last time. He was useful for James Fanshawe and on his only start on the flat for us he ran Gumball close at Salisbury last spring, form that looks even better now. Given that he is rated 142 over hurdles you could argue he is quite well in at Kempton off a mark of 85 on the flat and we've booked jockey in form Ben Curtis.

*Best chance. While I have lots of chances I am keen on Grand Sancy in the Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown

Paul Nicholls,

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