Paul Nicholls: Truckers Lodge is a solid each way shot in the Welsh Grand National

Paul Nicholls
Truckers Lodge and Yala Enki run in the Welsh National

Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has 10 runners on Friday, including two at the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. Read how he hopes to get on...

"He needed two more starts over fences to qualify and did the job nicely when winning snuggly at this course two months ago. He is a strong stayer, loves Chepstow, handles the mud, and has a nice light weight decent with Lorcan Williams claim taking off a further 3lbs."

Kempton

First Thyme hood

12:45 - Thyme White

He is a nice prospect who showed promise despite being a bit keen when keeping on into second place on his debut over hurdles at Sandown three weeks ago behind the easy winner Goshen on deep ground.

The flat track at Kempton will suit him much better so I am hopeful of a good run in a hood first time which should help him relax.

A grand future over fences

13:20 - Grand Sancy

A smart hurdler who made a pleasing start over fences when I rather threw him in at the deep end in the Henry VIII Chase at Sandown where he jumped well in finishing third behind Esprit Du Large.

This is competitive, too, but the faster they go the better it will suit Grand Sancy who is tough and has a future over fences.

Improving form here

13:55 - Danse Idol

She did well when switched back to hurdles last season but was disappointing on her return in a competitive mares handicap hurdle at Wincanton early in November on her first start since a wind op.

Nothing came to light afterwards and I remember that she also ran poorly on her first start last season before hitting form. So I am hoping she can take a big step forward in this.

This one to go strong

14:30 - Capeland

He has made giant strides this season and was raised 10lbs to a mark of 153 after beating his stable companion Diego Du Charmil at Ascot just over a month ago. He was so impressive that day, very strong at the finish and has fully earned this tilt at a Grade 1 prize.

Capeland has improved so much, won with a ton in hand last time, is on a roll like Frodon a year ago and I fancy him strongly.

A lot in his favour

15:05 - Sametegal

He is talented but a bit fragile, always goes well fresh and I thought he ran a cracker to be second to Benny's King at Newbury 27 days ago on his his first start for 665 days.

He takes his races much better now he is a bit older, looks fantastic and is very well at home, absolutely bouncing. I think he has a lot in his favour in this.

Soft ground key for this one

15:35 - Miranda

I've given her plenty of graft since her below par return at Sandown where none of the field could lay a glove on the all the way winner Totterdown.

I'm bringing her to Kempton because last season she won at Ludlow and Wincanton which are similar right-handed tracks.

Miranda loves soft ground and I am expecting much more from her now.

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Chepstow

12:30 - Cap Du Mathan

A horse we like, he is a galloper and ran well for a long way on his debut for us at Chepstow last month, despite being keen, and was prominent the whole way before keeping on at the one pace in third place behind Getaway Fred.

He wants a trip which he gets here and we will ride him more patiently in this and let him creep into the race. We are trying a hood first time and also fitting a tongue tie.

A couple for the Welsh Grand National

14:50 - Yala Enki & Truckers Lodge

Yala Enki was third in this a year ago when trained by Venetia Williams and is now 8lbs better off with the winner Elegant Escape. I've watched the replay and he was right up there, and four lengths clear five out before being headed two and just getting a little tired late on so we will ride him with a bit more restraint.

He then had a wind op shortly after joining us and it was a bit of a rush to get him to the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury where he finished in midfield.

I felt he was bound to need the run that day and he has come on plenty since then. He will love the testing conditions.

This race has been the plan for Truckers Lodge ever since he was beaten a neck by Boyhood on his debut over fences at Newton Abbot on May.

He needed two more starts over fences to qualify and did the job nicely when winning snuggly at this course two months ago. He is a strong stayer, loves Chepstow, handles the mud, and has a nice light weight decent with Lorcan Williams claim taking off a further 3lbs. While I've trained him for this race I don't whether he is classy enough but he does have plenty in his favour.

Jeremy to run well

15:55 - Jeremy Pass

A nice strong type, owned by John Dance, he led for most of the way at a steady pace on his debut for us at Newcastle on heavy ground before he was collared in the last furlong. He's gone the right way since then and I expect him to run well in a first time tongue tie.

We have a lot of chances and I think Truckers Lodge looks a very solid each way shot in the Welsh National.

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