Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls has another strong Saturday team, check out his thoughts on the runners right here.
14:25 - Kapcorse
He was off for a long time before an encouraging run at Newbury in November when he briefly looked like getting involved until tiring in the closing stages. While he has had a few issues he does have a nice light racing weight and seems to be just coming to himself. I just hope he handles the ground which looks as though it could be really testing.
15:00 - Malaya
She is a hold up horse who has been finding life tough in handicaps this season since chasing home Kid Commando at this track late in October. But she ran well last time over the minimum trip at Kempton and definitely wants this step up to two and a half miles now. With course, trip and ground in her favour Malaya has a nice each way chance.
15:35 - Cyrname
I run two in this and Harry Cobden has chosen to ride Cyrname who looked so good at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase before running way below expectations in the King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day. He was half asleep at the start that day and was never really travelling in behind horses. Harry felt Cyrname was sulking at Kempton so we are trying cheekpieces to sharpen him up. When we tried them on him at home a week ago they had a positive effect and certainly woke him up. If they work as well at Ascot then he has to have a big chance over a trip and track that play to his strengths.
15:35 - Master Tommytucker
I’ve always rated him highly and he has earned a shot at this Grade 1 level after some impressive performances this season. He is in serious order at home, working great, looks amazing and everything is in place for a big run. While his jumping in the past was an issue it was very good at Haydock and Cheltenham earlier in the season and he was foot perfect at Kempton last time bar one blemish at the last fence.
15:14 - Monmiral
He is a gorgeous recruit from France who has made a stylish winning debut for us at Exeter before again impressing in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Doncaster. This race has always been been the plan for Monmiral before he by- passes Cheltenham and heads to Aintree. It will be interesting to see how he gets on against Nassalem who is one of the best juveniles this season.
16:25 - Young Buck
He doubled his score for the season with a comfortable success from the front in heavy ground at Chepstow earlier this month. He won nicely despite idling in front that day in first time cheek pieces, continues to please at home, stays well, is now rated 133 and has solid claims in this more competitive Grade 2 novice hurdle. It will help if he gets a lead for longer at Haydock.
17:00 - Bob And Co
He was in top form in Hunter chases this time last year, winning twice ridden by his enthusiastic owner David Maxwell. The plan was to take him to Aintree for the Foxhunters until racing came to a halt. Bob and Co was struggling a little with his breathing last season so we sorted that out in the summer. He is in really good shape now and should take all the beating in this before heading to Cheltenham for the Hunter Chase for which he is already qualified.
13:05 -Pozo Emery
He is a lovely horse for the future and looked very good when winning for the first time at Chepstow over two and a half miles in December, jumping for fun and finding plenty when challenged late on. While he is dropping back in trip to two miles, the ground is bound to be testing which suits and he should go close again.
13:38 - Hell Red
He made quite an impact when winning on his debut for us at Chepstow in October but then choked at Cheltenham next time and had a full breathing operation a few days later. There is room for improvement from Hell Red who lacks experience and is entered at Cheltenham in both the Triumph Hurdle and the Boodles 4yo handicap. This race should tell us which way to go with him.
14:13 - Brelan d’As
He ran very well last time at Ludlow where he was second to Another Venture two months ago. He should appreciate dropping back to two and a half miles, loves deep winter ground and has plenty in his favour in this.
15:58 - Take Your Time
He’s a nice recruit from point-to-points, stays well and has been running consistently this winter, winning at Lingfield and finishing third to the smart novice Sizeable Sam on his most recent start at Wincanton in January. When Bryony Frost rode him Lingfield she timed her winning run to perfection. Good chance.
15:18 - Friend or Foe
He has progressed well this season but is paying the price now. He was racing off a mark of 128 when scoring impressively at this track in December and is now up to 146 which seems harsh. So he is a bit in nomansland until he goes chasing next season. Friend or Foe was entered in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and while he has it all to do in this Grade 2 Hurdle, he deserving a crack at a decent prize and will love the ground.
16:33 - Fabulous Saga
He was running for the first time in over 1,000 days when pulling up at Cheltenham two months ago on his first start over fences. He needs to get some miles on the clock after such a long absence and will probably need this second outing to sharpen him up. He looks on a stiff enough mark at this stage of his career and could do with being dropped a few pounds.
16:33 - Shantou Flyer
He gave his owner rider David Maxwell a great spin when they finished third in last year’s Foxhunters at Cheltenham. With amateurs currently unable to ride in races we have switched Shantou Flyer to handicaps for the time being and he ran well for a long way at this track early this month. He tired late on that day and that run should have put him spot on for this with Angus Cheleda’s 7lbs claim a handy bonus.