Charm out to be World beater
Paul Nicholls is leaning towards running Wonderful Charm in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.
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His rising star is also market leader for the Coral Cup at the Festival but the weather forecast is tempting the champion trainer to target the Grade One contest.
Writing in his exclusive column at www.betfair.com/paulnicholls he said: "We have given it a lot of thought and if the ground stays dry from Monday onwards, it is now highly likely - but not definite - that Wonderful Charm will take his chance in the World Hurdle next week.
"I know that some people have backed him for the Coral Cup and I obviously have sympathy for them. But those are the perils of ante-post betting, and that can't influence our decision.
"My primary concern is clearly to my owner and, after speaking with Mr Geffen and Ruby last night, we are all of the opinion that we should throw our hat into the ring in the World Hurdle. And I think the horse could just be up to running a big race."
Nicholls admits the handicap option had been a tempting one but he'll learn more about his horse in a World Hurdle.
"People will say that we are throwing away a golden opportunity in the Coral Cup off 149, but we would rather find out if he was good enough for Grade 1 company in such a valuable and prestigious race at the Festival - and a very open one at that - than a handicap," he added.
"If it doesn't work out, we can step him back in grade and then go novice chasing with him next season."