Friday, March 08, 2013

Nicholls top Festival trainer?

The top trainer market for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival is dominated by Nicky Henderson (4/6f) and Willie Mullins (2/1) yet last year's champion NH trainer, Paul Nicholls, can be backed at 10/1 in places (Betfred, William Hill).

Most of us understand why Henderson and Mullins are at the head of affairs but 10/1 is a big enough price about Nicholls who has traditionally fared well at this meeting so I thought I'd do some basic spadework on the trainer's horses for next week.

Here's a selection of his entries (with indicative prices only) which were correct (I think) at the time of publishing this post...


1.30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle: Dodging Bullets (9/1)
2.40 JLT Speciality Handicap Chase: Rolling Aces (12/1)
3.20 Champion Hurdle: Zarkander (9/2)
5.15 Pulteney Novices' Handicap Chase: Rebel Rebellion (20/1 [runs 4.25 Sandown, Sat.])


1.30 John Oaksey National Hunt Chase: Hawkes Point (16/1)
2.30 RSA Chase: Unioniste (4/1)
3.20 Champion Chase: Sanctuaire (16/1)
4.00 Coral Cup: Wonderful Charm (was 7/1 but drifting), Salubrious (20/1), Brampour (33/1)
4.40 Fred Winter Hurdle: Saphir Du Rheu (7/1), Pitt Zig (9/1)
5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper: Fascino Rustico (16/1)


1.30 Jewson Novices' Chase: Unioniste (14/1)
2.05 Pertemps Final: Sam Winner (4/1), American Trilogy (20/1)
2.40 Ryanair Chase: Ghizao (33/1)
3.20 World Hurdle: Wonderful Charm (12/1), Celestial Halo (33/1), Prospect Wells (40/1)
4.00 Byrne Group Chase: Poquelin (20/1), Domtaline (20/1)
4.40 Kim Muir: Harry The Viking (16/1)


1.30 Triumph Hurdle: Far West (4/1)
2.05 County Hurdle: Mr Mole (6/1 [runs Imperial Cup, Sat.]), Hinterland (20/1), Edgardo Sol (25/1)
2.40 Albert Bartlett: Aaim To Prosper (20/1), Aerial (33/1), Easter Day (33/1), Pay The King (40/1)
3.20 Gold Cup: Silviniaco Conti (4/1)
4.40 Martin Pipe: Salubrious (14/1)
5.15 Grand Annual: Ulck Du Lin (8/1), Toubab (16/1), Shooters Wood (16/1), Edgardo Sol (25/1)

Henderson deserves his position at the head of the market but there are some reasonable chances listed above which makes the 10/1 on offer look big to this observer.

Late tweet from the trainer himself - he rates Sam Winner his best chance of the week and is 'very hopeful' about Zarkander and Silviniaco Conti.

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