Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls discusses his runners at Sandown and Wincanton on the first Saturday of 2020 and selects his best chance of the afternoon...
"She has plenty going for her as her form is solid, she loves soft ground and jumps so well. Good chance."
Smart mare has plenty going for her
12:45 - Silver Forever
A smart mare who was due to run at Taunton in midweek until the ground started to dry up and they took out half the hurdles because of the low sun. So I kept her for this race over half-a-mile further which will play to her strengths. Silver Forever has plenty going for her as her form is solid, she loves soft ground and jumps so well. Good chance.
Good opportunity to start winning
13:20 - Mercy Mercy Me
He kept good company last season before joining us last summer and ran respectably on his debut over fences at Plumpton almost seven weeks ago, staying on into third place behind Champagne Court. Although Mercy Mercy Me is still a maiden from a handful of starts, he should be winning over fences soon off his mark of 125 and this looks a fair opportunity for him in first time cheek pieces to help him concentrate.
Deserves his chance in a hot race
14:25 - Calva d'Auge
He was placed in Graded company on the flat and has run two solid races for us, winning nicely at Plumpton before chasing home a highly rated novice Thebannerkingrebel at Haydock despite losing a shoe. While this looks quite a hot race he deserves a shot in Grade 1 company.
Should come on for this experience
13:35 - Southfield Harvest
I had to be patient with Southfield Harvest last season as he took time to develop but it paid off when he won his bumper nicely at Chepstow in April after a pleasing debut at Exeter. I've been waiting in vain for better ground for him but as he has been ready to start over hurdles for a while I'm letting him take his chance in this and would expect him to come on plenty for the experience.
Should be bang in there at the finish
14:05 - Saintemilion
He came tantalisingly close to winning at this track on Boxing Day when he finished strongly and failed by a neck to give over a stone to Le Couer Net with the pair miles clear of the rest. He has come out of that race in good order and should again be bang in there at the finish.
Should have every chance with excellent Carver
15:15 - As de Mee
He ran a cracker last time at Aintree in the Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree, up there the whole way, enjoying himself and jumping for fun until tiring late on after being headed two out. Even so he finished sixth with the trip of three and a quarter miles proving a bit too far for him in the testing conditions. Dropping back to two and a half miles should suit As de Mee who must have every chance with our excellent, in form conditional Bryan Carver taking off a valuable 7lbs.
One for the future
15:50 - Grand Slam
He is a big, backward type, still a bit of a baby and, although he is ready for his first start now, I'd expect him to improve plenty for the experience. I see him as one for the future.
Paul's Best chance on Saturday: Silver Forever (12:45 Sandown) - "A slick jumper jumper who should go close now that she is stepping up to two and a half miles."