Paul Nicholls Sends Strong Team to Doncaster on Saturday
While the focus for many may be on Cheltenham at the weekend for many people, Paul Nicholls has also decided to target a northern jumps meeting alongside his assault on Cheltenham. Nicholls sends more runners up north to Doncaster than he does to Cheltenham on Saturday as the former Champion Trainer looks to have another special Saturday afternoon.
Nicholls sends four horses to Cheltenham, with two in the feature Caspian Gold Cup, one in the International Hurdle and one elsewhere, while he sends five horses for five races, along with his stable jockey Harry Cobden up to Doncaster. This move is something that punters should take note of, and it is likely that Nicholls is going to have a good day up in the north with his runners at Doncaster.
Paul Nicholls Runners at Doncaster on Saturday
Nicholls begins his charge on Doncaster in the very first race, with Kings Inn running in the 11:50. Without disrespecting the horse too much, the four year old gelding is far from the best horse in the Nicholls yard, but rated just 109 now going into handicaps, he will surely be competitive off that kind of mark. This is a poor race on paper, and if Kings Inn has any kind of ability he could make a mockery of this race off that mark.
After a race off, the Nicholls bandwagon rolls onto the 1:00 with Amour De Nuit. This horse has won two of his three starts over fences, with a 5th placed finish at Ascot last time out being his only loss over the bigger obstacles. That was a very good handicap, much better than this one and he has been lowered a couple of pounds in the weights after that run.
Coup De Pinceau represents Nicholls in the Grade Two Novice Chase on the card and he comes here on the back of two wins in lesser company. The yard have a fantastic record in this race, so it is worth noting this horse as he doesn’t look to be their strongest novice chaser that could have come here. He looks to be a chaser, he hasn’t done anything wrong so far and he really could be anything.
Cliffs Of Dover was an exceptional juvenile hurdler but injury ended his season early and he is still finding his feet now back from that injury as a handicapper. There is little doubt in my mind that he is capable of winning a race off his current mark, although I do question whether he is ready to do that yet. He is an interesting runner, but probably the least likely winner of the five that are visiting on Saturday.
Quel Destin is the final runner on the card for Paul Nicholls in the Grade Two juvenile hurdle, and he comes here with leading form claims. He has won two of his three starts over hurdles for Nicholls, and when winning at Cheltenham last time he had his main market rival Cracker Factory behind him in second place. There is no reason to think he cannot do the same again, and that piece of form from Cheltenham looks to be among some of the strongest we have seen in the juvenile division so far this season. If there is a star performer among the five that Nicholls sends up to Doncaster then this is probably the one and a win here would make him of interest in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Nicholls Will be Hoping for at Least Two Winners at Doncaster
You can give each one of the five runners a chance on Saturday, but if I was picking just one of them then Quel Destin would be that horse. He looks a class act, and his biggest rival in this race finished behind him last time out. I see no reason why that form would be reversed here, and we could be looking at a live Triumph Hurdle contender should he win nicely on Saturday.
Nicholls will be hoping for more than one winner on the card though, with Kings Inn, Amour De Nuit and Coup De Pinceau all of interest. The first named could make a mockery of his handicap mark, he is rated very lowly for one from this yard. Amour De Nuit will find this race much calmer than the one he contested at Ascot, giving him a chance and Coup De Pinceau has to be respected simply due to the yard’s record in the race.
Cliffs Of Dover may need another couple of races over hurdles to get back into the swing of things, but there is no doubt that he is capable off this kind of mark and while he may not be of too much interest tomorrow, he certainly cannot be discounted with ease.
Many people up and down the country follow Paul Nicholls, especially on the big days like we have tomorrow. He has started the season well, and strung together numerous good wins including a couple of big ones. Those following will be hoping to see him have a big day at Doncaster on Saturday, and I’m sure we will hear about plenty of multiple bets on his runners should a few of them oblige.