Paul Nicholls: Some big chances at Chepstow on Saturday

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls has nine runners at Chepstow on Saturday

After a fantastic Friday at Chepstow, Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls returns to the same course with nine runners on Saturday, and here he gives us the lowdown on them all...

"I think it is only a matter of time before Mont Des Avaloirs wins a nice chase and he should be well suited by the likely strong gallop in this race. Good chance."

- Paul Nicholls on Mont Des Avaloirs

Big run expected from new recruit

13:40 - Hell Red

We bought him after he finished second on his debut at Auteuil in March to Monmiral who has also joined our team (read more about them both in my Betfair Stable Tour). Hell Red is probably the sharper of the two at this stage a racy type who is ready to go, has been pleasing at home and seemed to love the soft ground at Auteuil. I see him as a bit like Quel Destin when he came here and I expect him to go close in this.

Going nicely at home and has a chance

14:12 - Friend Or Foe

Although he hasn't run for over 500 days he was in training last season but it would have been a waste of time running him on the heavy ground and just as I was getting him ready for a spring campaign racing was called off. Friend Or Foe hasn't had any issues, he was just unlucky, and has been going nicely at home. He has winning form at Chepstow and I am hopeful he can begin to make up for lost time. He definitely has a chance.

Likes the venue and goes well fresh

14:47 - Secret Investor

He seems to like Chepstow, always goes well fresh and won the Persian War Hurdle at this meeting two years ago. With a handicap mark of 153 he isn't the easiest to place over fences but he was knocking on the door last season and ran as well as ever when chasing home the hot favourite Native River in the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury late in February. The drier the ground at Chepstow the better for Secret Investor who had a wind op over the summer.

Strong race but he's another who goes well fresh

15:22 - Grand Sancy

Grand Sancy is a really genuine and consistent customer who gets into this race without a penalty for winning a beginners' Chase at Fontwell in February. He is another of mine who won at this meeting in 2018. He had some tough tasks last winter against some of the best novice chasers around and the experience he gained then should definitely be an advantage this time round. Grand Sancy has also had wind surgery, and always goes well fresh but is again taking on smart opposition.

Psycho the best of my two but we don't want drying ground

15:57 - Saint Sonnet & Sir Psycho

Saint Sonnet joined us half way through last season after showing decent form in France and won his novice Chase easily at Catterick before finishing seventh behind Samcro in the Marsh Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. I fear he is high enough in the handicap ratings on what he has achieved and he looks to have a stiff task here given that he is bound to come on for the run.

Sir Psycho was hugely progressive last season and kept coming back for more on the testing ground he relished. He won three times before another fine effort when staying on stoutly to finish fifth in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. Bryan Carver rode him when he romped home at Exeter on New Year's Day and his 5lbs claim is invaluable here. I expect Sir Psycho to run very well over a trip that should suit though drying ground would not be in his favour.

Should be suited by strong gallop and has a good chance

16:32 - Mont Des Avaloirs

It's a bit frustrating that he is still a novice over fences as he has plenty of ability. He ran well on all three starts last season, has an official handicap mark of 142 and we really fancied him in the Greatwood Chase at Newbury until the card was abandoned. I think it is only a matter of time before Mont Des Avaloirs wins a nice chase and he should be well suited by the likely strong gallop in this race. Good chance.

Lovely prospect and been showing enough at home

17:07 - Knappers Hill

There is loads to like about his pedigree as his dam Brogella was a smart mare and he is a half brother to a couple of very decent horses Swamp Fox and Rene's Girl. A lovely, scopey prospect, Knappers Hill is ready to start and has shown enough at home to give us plenty of hope for the future.

Will benefit from experience but he can go close

17:42 - Famoso

Famoso is by Fame and Glory from a really good family given that his second dam bred the multiple Grade 1 winner Hurricane Fly, twice successful in the Champion Hurdle. He is also a half brother to a very useful type Tornado Flyer, did plenty at home last spring and pleased me in a racecourse gallop. He is well ready, goes nicely and I am hopeful that he can go close on his debut though, like all of my youngsters, he is bound to benefit from the experience.

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