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Paul Nicholls: Brave Kingdom continues to please us and should be a big player

Sandown

Talented amateur can prove vital

12:45 – Sending Love

He jumped a bit novicey last time and got behind on his debut over fences at this track over two and a half miles and the step up to three miles in this class should be more to his liking. Sending Love should have an each-way way chance ridden by the talented amateur Ben Bromley who takes off a valuable 5lbs and has a great record on our horses.

Should go well with a clear round

13:50 – Halo Des Obeaux

He has shown quite smart form since joining us in the summer. He was a close third at Worcester where he gave 10lbs to the winner I Like To Move It Who who has been since been successful twice more. Halo Des Obeaux again carried a stiff penalty next time at Newton Abbot before taking a tired fall at the last flight just behind the leaders in a hot race.

He was always going chasing after that, jumps well at home as nearly all our French recruits do, and he gets the handy four-year-old allowance from his six rivals. While Halo Des Obeaux is still inexperienced I’m hopeful that with a clear round he should go well.

Impressive debut winner should be a big player

14:25 – Brave Kingdom

SBK1/1

EXC2.02

Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Gavin Sheehan
Age: 5
Weight: 11st 0lbs
OR:

He is a lovely type who could hardly have been more impressive on his debut for us at Chepstow with the help of a really positive ride from Gavin Sheehan. He set off in front, jumped for fun, was soon clear and won as he liked. Brave Kingdom has continued to please at home, schooled tidily on Wednesday morning, and should be a big player on this step up to Grade 2 company.

Rain will be in his favour

15:35 – Storm Arising

He enjoyed a fruitful campaign last winter, winning twice and finishing second in this race when he was chinned on the line after leading sooner than ideal. He is one of mine that has been waiting in the wings for ages for easier ground and any rain that falls at Sandown will be in his favour. Storm Arising is certainly fit and can go well fresh before maybe heading to Chepstow for a valuable three mile handicap hurdle after Christmas.

I’m putting on cheek pieces for the first time because he idled and half pulled himself up in front at this track last year.

Exeter

Needs to sharpen up and improve

14:40 – Cut The Mustard

She was a bit disappointing last time over hurdles at Wincanton where she was eventually pulled up and I’d say that she needs to sharpen up her ideas and improve on that run on her return to fences.

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