Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tuesday at Taunton

It's the same old same old with the heavy going at Taunton today and Paul Nicholls sends out two runners.
Looking at the rest of the week, up to and including Sunday, he has a total of 52 entries across the 5 days so it looks as though things are stepping up a gear at Ditcheat once again as they seek to get preparatory runs into their festival hopefuls.

Paul Nicholls
Taunton - Heavy
2.45 Lou Vert ran four times on the flat before switching to hurdles in France where he made a good impression when finishing 3rd in a maiden hurdle at Auteuil in March. Behind him that day were both Fixe Le Kap, who won a juvenile hurdle at Warwick for Henderson by 28 lengths on 28/01 and is now 10/1 for the Triumph and Romain De Senam rated 136h. He was beaten three and three quarter lengths there having made headway on the approach to the last where he was untidy.
He has been acquired by his syndicate of celebrity friends and no doubt big things will be expected.
He has sustained an injury to his pedal bone in a schooling accident since being in this country and he may well need the run on his first start for Nicholls and the betting may tell us if there is any confidence.
He won when wearing first time cheekpieces in France and he has first time tongue tie on today.
In any event he's up against Hendersons ex French horse Bloody Mary who has recorded 6 wins on the bounce from 7 starts in France, the latest of those also coming at Auteuil.
Whether the 9lb Lou Vert is in receipt of, from Bloody Mary, will make the difference is anyone's guess but certainly on paper the race looks between those two and we will more than likely see them both again at the festival in March.

4.15 Minellahalfcentury has run just the once so far this season at Cheltenham in an amateur riders handicap chase over 3m 1f when he finished 6th behind Knock House, Foxbridge and Alternatif. That day he was held in 5th when hampered two out and like a lot of the stable runners this season had nothing to offer at the business end of the race, however he was said to have needed the run. 
He's dropped 3lb in the handicap to 131c following that, however his three wins to date have come when wearing some form of headgear for the first time - namely tongue strap, cheek pieces and blinkers.
Soft ground suits with two of his wins coming on heavy going and he must stay well as the stable were targeting the Welsh National prior to his  return in November.
Although only a small field it's an interesting race. Wychwoods Brook outstayed the Nicholls Easter Day in a Class 3 handicap chase at Taunton 13/01 and Cork Citizen has his first run for Pipe having been campaigned by his owners in hunter chases and points and he wouldn't be the first to improve leaps and bounds when transferred to this stable.
Sonny The One finished a gallant second here behind Waldorf Salad (who franked the form at Cheltenham on Saturday) last time out and he could be ready to win off his lowly mark 114c carrying 10-6 on this heavy going.

No bets today

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