Ebene Magazine – Paul Nicholls: Monmiral can help us get off to a successful start in Aintree on Thursday

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Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls will speak about his eight runners in Aintree on Thursday, including a great chance in the second race of the afternoon and four more in Taunton …

« It was always the plan that Monmiral should go to Aintree instead, after winning impressively for us on both starts. The shape of his recent success at Haydock was from the second and third well and truly confirmed. While he has only raced on soft ground, I feel that good to soft on Thursday will be fine for him. Leading chance. « 

He is a real young pursuer who always was still going strong when he came down Class 1 in Sandown on the Isles of Scilly and celebrated a beautiful, confident win in Newbury in early March. Since he is only five years old and has no experience we decided to bypass Cheltenham and wait for this two and a half mile race which is ideal. Solid chance.

He’s a good example of my belief that the season shouldn’t be all about Cheltenham. We don’t buy or train horses just for the festival. We don’t have to take horses there, we weren’t seduced by the triumph hurdle and it was always the plan that Monmiral would go to Aintree instead, after winning impressively for us on both starts. The shape of his recent success at Haydock was franked well and truly on the second and third. Although he has only ridden on soft ground so far, I think it will be okay for him to be good to soft on Thursday. Leading chance.

He did very well last time at Newbury when he only refused to give £ 6 to Secret Investor, who was injured and may not be able to run again until Christmas. We felt after Newbury that matching cheek pieces might aid Clan’s focus, and they seemed to sharpen him as he worked on it on Saturday. He’s in good shape and if the cheek pieces do the trick he has an obvious chance.

He wasn’t that easy to train but showed something last time when he was doing well at King George on Boxing Day, until he stopped and quickly turned into the straight. It turned out he was bleeding, so this is kind of a recovery mission, but we’ve brushed him up and hope for better from him.

It wasn’t the same last time at Fontwell when the track was a bit tight for him and it was in a pocket at a crucial time. He also gave 6 pounds to the winner who is very good on his day. McFabulous will be much happier on a galloping track like Aintree, enjoying the drying ground. Hopefully he’s doing very well.

This has always been Cat Tiger’s goal and the good news is that his owner David Maxwell can now partner with him as amateurs are allowed to ride again. They shared a huge win at a prized Listed Chase at Auteuil in November 2018 when this horse was only four years old. More recently he qualified for this race when he comfortably won a little over a month ago at Leicester, ridden by Harry Cobden.

Sametegal wasn’t that easy to place in the handicap and it was great to have him seen winning for the first time in five years when he defeated Porlock Bay in a hunter chase in a tight finish at Wincanton. This shape is absolutely solid as the runner-up lands the Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Sametegal was second at Fontwell when I had to get him out much faster than ideal because it was his last chance to qualify for Aintree. So you can ignore this run. He has circled these fences multiple times in the past, which must be an asset, and with record-to-point champion Will Biddick in the saddle, he should ride very well.

I’ve kept him fresh for this since he did last time at Doncaster won an impressive six and a half lengths from Duke of Navan. I think it was probably a smooth race but he was the one who could take advantage of it, which was good to see because he can be a bit in and out. The handicapper didn’t miss Getaway Trump after that, but two miles on good ground is exactly what he wants and he’s allowed a quick race where he should make a decent report on himself. It’s encouraging that he always does well this time of year.

13:25 – Tulin
On his debut for us on this track on soft ground three weeks ago he won an impressive first tongue fight. This time he will enjoy the better ground there and should be close again.

He always knocks on the door and finished second on this track in his last two starts. He was only beaten for two miles by Copperless the last time and stayed on target. If Angus Cheleda takes off a valuable 7 pounds on that beginner handicap, he should be back there and step up three furlongs.

I’ve been thinking about moving him out for a while and he gets his chance over three miles here . It’s pretty tough to place after winning two races in a row late last year. Angus beat him at Newbury and his claim is an obvious help. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run well.

He has done two really solid races on deep winter terrain and has been looking for a decent race to get now. He’s a lovely prospect who can hopefully get off the spot on his last start in a bumper before taking the hurdle.

« He looked very smart winning both starts for us and us rate it highly. « 

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