Trainers are creatures of habit and studying their placement of horses can yield significant reward. Paul Nicholls is a man that sticks to a rigorous schedule and one thing you can guarantee with the Ditcheat operation is when they send runners 800-miles to Musselburgh, they are bound to go there with a big chance.
At last year’s meeting, Sametegal and Salubrious scored for Nicholls from his three runners and it will be very surprising if he leaves Scotland without one winner from another team of three.
Of the three (Pay The King 1:00, Funny Star 3:00 and Sametegal 3:30), Pay The King looks his best chance of the day and the one we’re interested in at the prices.
The progressive sort, who races out of the handicap today, goes in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) and the 11/4 looks a fair price.
Nicholls has a habit of not overrunning or rushing his horses to the racetrack, especially the ones with talent, and the selection fits that bill. He’s only had four starts despite being a seven-year-old and admittedly was very disappointing last season, being beaten twice at Chepstow and Newbury when sent off a heavily backed odds-on favourite.
However, the break seemed to have done him a world of good judging by his reappearance effort at Cheltenham behind Home Run.
Although not fit according to Nicholls, Pay The King ran a really encouraging race under Harry Derham to make nice headway from the back of the field before just getting tired in the closing stages.
His rating has been left at 116 for today and the form of his bumper win at Gowran Park suggests that Nicholls’ charge should find winning off this mark pretty simple if brining his A-game to the table.
The step up to three miles is also very much in his favour in this qualifier for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and despite being 5lb out of the handicap, can book his ticket to the Festival.
Get on with a three point win stake to hopefully end the week on a high. We could do with a winner, been a dry week.
Profit and Loss Record Staked: 229pts Returned: 249.86pts P/L: +20.86pts
(Cheltenham ante post book: 2pts West Wizard in Supreme Novices Hurdle 8/1 & 1pts EW Harry Topper in Gold Cup 50/1 & 2pts EW Corrin Wood in RSA Chase 16/1 & 1pt Boston Bob in World Hurdle 11/1 & 2pts Felix Yonger in Arkle Chase)
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