Paul Nicholls on Afadil – and his six other horses as he awaits clement weather for Truckers Lodge and Flash Collonges at Cheltenham on Sunday

  • The trainer will have seven horses in action at the storied racecourse on Sunday
  • Among them are Rickety Bridge, Sonigino, Ginny’s Destiny, and First Flyer 
  • Nicholls won the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Stage Star on Saturday afternoon 

Trainer Paul Nicholls has seven runners at Cheltenham on Sunday, including ever-improving Afadil in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. 

Also running are Ginny’s Destiny, Trucker’s Lodge, Rickety Bridge, and First Flyer.  

Here, Betfair ambassador Nicholls goes through all of his horses on Sunday’s racecard.  


13:45 – Ginny’s Destiny 

He needed the run on his debut for us at this track last month and found the ground quicker than ideal. But I was pleased with his jumping and he will be much happier with plenty of give in the ground. 

Paul Nicholls goes through his seven runners at Cheltenham on Sunday afternoon including Afadil and Rickety Bridge

Paul Nicholls goes through his seven runners at Cheltenham on Sunday afternoon including Afadil and Rickety Bridge

The softer the going the better for Ginny’s Destiny who should take a step forward in this and has the scope to progress over fences. 

14:20 – Truckers Lodge 

He is a proper mudlark, well into the veteran stage now and was in the grip of the hamdicapper for ages after bolting up in the Midlands Grand National in 2020. 

He finally began to slip down the ratings last season and was on a long losing run before his success in the West Wales National at Ffos Las in April with the help of Freddie Gingell’s 7lbs claim. 

The more rain they have at Cheltenham the better his chance.

14:20 – Flash Collonges 

He has been largely consistent over fences even though it took him seven outings to get off the mark and it was frustrating that he fell in the Scottish National in April when we felt he had a great chance. 

He gallops all day and is still unexposed as a long distance chaser but he does prefer drier ground so I will be checking conditions at Cheltenham before letting him take his chance. 

15:30 – Afadil 

He quickly developed in a useful hurdler last season, then had a win op in the summer and was a bit behind most of ours, so badly needed his first run of the new campaign at Cheltenham a month ago. 

He has come on plenty for the outing, will strip much fitter on Sunday and will hopefully be competitive. 

15:30 – Sonigino 

He travelled like the best horse in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow last month and looked like winning before taking a blow jumping the final flight and getting a big tired late on. 

I was then hopeful of a big run from him at Aintree until I withdrew him late on after he knocked a joint. He was fine within a couple of days and this race looks a suitable target for him with Freddie Gingell’s 5lbs claim a handy bonus. 

The stronger pace they go from the start the better he will be staying on stoutly at the end as he really needs two and a half miles. 

16:00 – First Flyer 

He won stylishly on his debut in a bumper at Ascot in October despite running green and then found the ground too quick at Newbury in February. He was a bit sore afterwards so we gave him time to recover before his summer holiday. 

He has again been catching the eye in his work at home and deserves this chance at this £25,000 bumper before he switches to hurdles. 

The 15.30 could be a suitable target for Sonigino (pictured) with Freddie Gingell in the saddle

The 15.30 could be a suitable target for Sonigino (pictured) with Freddie Gingell in the saddle

16:00 – Rickety Bridge 

He made a tidy winning debut in a Point-to-Point in Devon in March and came within a whisker of winning again on his first start for us in a bumper at Worcester in October. 

Harry Cobden had a job to pull him up afterwards which is always a good sign. He is only four and this valuable bumper gives him the chance to gain more experience before he goes hurdling. 

Best chance: Afadil EW. 15.30. 

He progressed swiftly last season and will be much sharper on his second run after a wind op. 

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