Paul Nicholls: The verdict on my eight Saturday runners at Cheltenham and Doncaster

Paul Nicholls has Clan Des Obeaux, Le Prezien and Romain De Senam in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Paul Nicholls has Clan Des Obeaux, Le Prezien and Romain De Senam in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
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Paul has eight runners between Cheltenham and Doncaster on Saturday including Caspian Caviar Gold Cup favourite Clan Des Obeaux...

"Clan Des Obeaux is still on the same mark and while it isn’t ideal to be carrying top weight he won in terrific style at Haydock last time and has a lot going for him here on the New course which puts a greater emphasis on stamina."

Cheltenham

12:45 - Movewiththetimes

Was always going to be a chaser, and gave the hot favourite Finian's Oscar a fright at Cheltenham a month ago with a brilliant jump which took him into the lead at the final fence.

Although he was just run out of it on the flat it was a highly encouraging run by Movewiththetimes who shaped with great promise on his second start over fences. A repeat of that form gives him a favourite's chance against three opponents.

13:55 - Clan Des Obeaux

He is one of a trio we run in this valuable handicap. All three are capable of going really well and though I'd say that at the age of five Clan Des Obeaux is the one with the most potential I wouldn't be surprised if any of them won.

Clan Des Obeaux is another of ours to benefit from a wind-op over the summer and on his return at Kempton came within half a length of beating Whisper who has since been raised twelve pounds after a career best run when going so close in the Ladbroke Trophy.

Clan Des Obeaux is still on the same mark and while it isn't ideal to be carrying top weight he won in terrific style at Haydock last time and has a lot going for him here on the New course which puts a greater emphasis on stamina.

13:55 - Le Prezien

Has looked a shade a shade unlucky on both his starts at Cheltenham this autumn and is due a change of luck. Le Prezien failed by a neck to catch Foxtail Hill in October and then got further back than ideal after an early mistake in the BetVictor Gold Cup. He showed what is possible by making up ground into a challenging position and staying on well but could never quite get to the front two.

I think Le Prezien will be better suited by this course rather than the Old course and give him every chance of turning the form round with the pair who finished in front of him in the BetVictor.

13:55 - Romain de Senam

Doesn't want the ground too soft and should enjoy the better underfoot conditions on this totally different track which, crucially, was not watered in the autumn.

He did well to finish fifth, two places behind Le Prezien here last time, when he was a bit too free, got there a shade too soon and didn't last home in the very testing ground.

Now that Romain de Senam is racing on the New Course I expect a better show from him if he settles better. I've had horses with similar profiles such as Poquelin bounce back in this after failing to win the BetVictor Gold Cup.

15:05 - Old Guard

He won this two years ago during a purple patch but found life much tougher last season when I felt he was struggling with his breathing.

We gave him an op in the summer to sort that out and he has come back in style, looking much more like his old self with three smart performances including a decisive success in a £25,000 Handicap at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Now that Old Guard is back up to a mark of 155 he is rather in no man's land and is going to find it hard to win another Handicap off that rating.

He has more than earned his place in this line up and should be in the money again.

Doncaster

13:40 - Amour de Nuit

Things didn't go his way last time at Newbury on ground that was probably softer than he prefers. Amour de Nuit stays well and was left a bit flat footed when the race developed into a sprint in the straight after a slow early gallop.

What he wants is a strongly run race on decent ground. Given those conditions I can see him bouncing back here with Bryony Frost claiming a handy five pounds.

14:10 - Braqueur d'Or

This Grade 2 novice chase on better ground against three opponents looks the natural target for Braqueur d'Or before he has a well deserved winter break.

The progress he has made since joining us with a lowly rating of 109 in the spring has been amazing. He is now on a mark of 138 after his cracking run into fourth place in the Ladbroke Trophy at Newbury a fortnight ago.

Although he had a fairly hard race at Newbury he seems in good form at home, schooled well on Friday morning and after his holiday I will be looking at long distance races for him like the Scottish National and Bet365 Gold Cup.

14:45 - Act of Valour

Rated 97 on the flat in Ireland, he has pleased from day one with both his homework and jumping.

But you never know for sure until they do it on the track so I was thrilled with the way he won on his hurdles debut at Newcastle despite the ground being much more testing than ideal.

Act of Valour travelled really well through the race, jumping fluently before readily coming clear of the well backed runner-up.

We rate him as one of our best juveniles and while this will be tougher under a penalty against more experienced rivals the drier ground should be to his liking and I will be surprised and disappointed if he doesn't go close ridden by Adrian Heskin who is retained by the McNeill family.

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