Preview of Paul Nicholls’ Saturday runners in Ascot and Wincanton

Saturday is a big day for Team Ditcheat. We had seven winners this afternoon a year ago and once again we have great chances in all three games, so I will be mortified if one or more cards are lost.


Cheltenham’s perspective is one for the future

1:50 pm – Danny Whizzbang

He is a talented horse who won a Grade 2 Chase novice in Newbury on his paddock debut before finishing third in Kempton, where he was slightly surprised by his lack of experience. Danny is a strong stay, loves soft ground and this track suits him much better than Kempton, where the emphasis is on speed. He has two registrations in Cheltenham and we will see how he will go in Reynoldstown before making firm plans as I see him as one for the future, so next month’s festival may arrive a year too early for him.

Refreshed and with a chance

15:00 – Malaya

She did not perform for some reason when she was below par last in Sandown in early December, but has had a good break since then and is fresh and well now. If he runs at his best, he would have a good chance.

3:35 pm – Cyrname

King George came a little too early for him after his big win over Altior in Ascot, where they both had tough races, but still finished second in Kempton and refreshed well after a short break in early January. .


I’m very happy with Cyrname now and he looked in perfect order when I instructed him on Monday. He also spent a nice day away from home in Wincanton without doing too much and it could be said that he is playing at home while bidding to repeat last year’s success at Betfair Ascot Chase on a track that we know suits him so well.

Waiting for another good run

4:10 pm – Easyrun de Vassy

He was only beaten by a neck on his handicap debut in Taunton, and he was unlucky last time when fourth in this song just before Christmas. He was there with all the possibilities when he was tight at the last corner, with his heels cut, stumbled and lost ground. But for this I think he would have gone close. I expect another good ride from Easyrun de Vassy.

Nice prospect but can you handle the rain?

4:45 pm – Sabrina

It’s a nice prospect that has shown a lot about her debut when she is second in a bumper in Taunton in late October. I waited and waited for better ground before running again, but there is no sign of an end to the rain and if you manage conditions in Ascot you should have good prospects of ending up in money.


Improvement and full confidence

14:40 – Sir Psycho

He was denied a run to Exeter last Sunday by Storm Ciara and with doubts about the paper going on there last Sunday I passed it to the Victor Ludorum in Haydock. I was thrilled by the way he did bolted on heavy ground in Exeter on New Year’s day of 31 lengths. A former flat horse, he has improved tremendously as he gets used to our training regimen and heads for Haydock with his confidence.

The conditions are perfect for this national possibility

3:15 pm – Yala Enki

He has made good progress since joining us this season and winning the Portman Cup in Taunton the last time. He looks like an ideal contender for the Grand National as he stays all day and I hope he can advertise his requests for Aintree with a decent show in this. The conditions are perfect for him.

It must end first or second

17:00 – Alcala

He was a helpful handicapper for us, he rated 152 at his peak and seemed ready to win on his debut in a Chase hunter per month when he dropped two in Ludlow. He just jumped too much and curled up on landing. I still hope Alcala can qualify for the Foxhunters in Cheltenham, so she has to finish first or second in this and then do the same in a similar race next weekend.


Exciting novice

13:37 – Alone

He is an exciting young man who we bought from France after winning his second start on the obstacles of fifteen lengths in Auteuil in November. This earned him a BHA handicap score of 146. He has only done everything we’ve asked him since he joined us before Christmas well educated and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will make its debut for us.

I hope it can recover

14:12 – Saintemilion

Last time he disappointed this track when I thought he would go close and I blame him for running too fast after he was just beaten up in Wincanton on Boxing Day. I am now step up Saintemilion traveling for two and a half miles, he runs the test field and I hope he can recover in this.

Ability to add a nice record

14:45 – That Destin

I was thinking of keeping it for the National Spirit in Fontwell next Sunday, but Harry Cobden was banished that day and the horse is bouncing after his excellent defeat of Call Me Lord in Sandown. So with the test conditions in Wincanton ideal for Quel Destin, it makes sense to let him seize at Kingwell. He is tough, genuine and so consistent that he has good prospects to add to his beautiful record.

Ready to win

15:23 – Rising of the storm

He ran really well in Wincanton on Boxing Day when he may have hit the front a little too early. Knock on the door, ready to overcome one of these handicap obstacles and with the claim of Lorcan Williams that takes away a comfortable 3 pounds he could very well have his head in front Here.

Can you complete a course triplet?

16:32 – Worthy company

He’s improving race by race, he’s really putting this season together and he’s doing so well that he could be a candidate for Coral Welsh National in December. Worthy Farm has won in the last two starts in Wincanton, the last time has been impressive on the track and must have a good chance of completing the hat-trick with a higher score of 8 pounds.

It must show its true form

17:07 – Ostuni

Did not run any type of race a Plumpton on Monday when he was eventually pulled up by Harry Cobden. Afterwards nothing came out, so I’m quickly exposing it in the hope that it will show its true form.


Paul’s best chance on Saturday: Cyrname (15:35 Ascot) – “He has a lot in his favor for Ascot.”

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