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tThe Paul Nicholls stable are absolutely flying at the minute and we are eyeing up two of their horses today on a tasty card at Wincanton.
Nicholls ended up with three winners at the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham including the sponsor’s Gold Cup on Saturday thanks to the blistering late run of Caid Du Berlais who caught last year’s victor Johns Spirit in the last stride.
It could have been even better for team Ditcheat had Emerging Talent, Dodging Bullets and Vibrato Valtat all not been narrowly denied on the Sunday.
It was a meeting that showed the racing world that the Nicholls revolution continues to be one of the strongest of this generation despite losing some of its stable stars to retirement like Gold Cup heroes Denman and Kauto Star and hurdling sensation Big Buck’s. Throw in five winners on the previous Saturday and you have a yard bang in form, working at a 26% strike for November.
Sam Twiston-Davies has really settled well into his new job as stable jockey and he was at his sparkling best on Saturday with a high-profile double on Sam Winner and Caid Du Berlais. The plan was for him to track John’s Spirit but a slight mistake by Caid Du Berlais at the third last made life more difficult and he was still only fourth jumping the final fence before he flew up the final hill under a power packed effort from Twiston-Davies. He’s riding at his best currently and is the perfect pilot for the two horses today.
It’s A Close Call should get the double up and running in the Stephen Gardner 50th Birthday Celebration Novices´ Hurdle at 1:50. This horse has quite a big reputation from point to pointing in Ireland and there has been a buzz around the Nicholls yard about the potential of this horse as a chaser. The trainer isn’t going to rush him though and a campaign novice hurdling is likely to plotted out, starting with this relatively easy looking chance to break his maiden tag on debut. Snap up the 2/1.
The second leg should be completed by Brock Again in the Bathwick Tyres Dorchester Handicap Hurdle (2:25). The hurdler made an eye catching British debut for Nicholls at Sandown last time out and looks a winner in waiting in this handicap sphere. The trainer has found a very winnable race for the horse, who looks the good thing of the day.