Top trainer Paul Nicholls has nine horses in action on Sunday at Aintree and Wincanton.
He hopes Hitman can go one better in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree after finishing second in a photo finish last year, while Enrilo and Switch Hitter both go in the 15.29 at Wincanton.
Here, Betfair ambassador Nicholls runs the rule over all nine of his horses in action on Sunday.
Paul Nicholls goes through nine of his horses in action on Sunday including Hitman and Liari
Hitman pictured at Nicholls’ Manor Farm Stables in Somerset earlier this year
14:00 – Hitman
He is back for another crack at the Old Roan Chase after a fine performance a year ago when he only was just beaten in a photo finish.
He also ran a blinder when finishing third in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He has done plenty at home and I’ve had this race in mind from the moment he came back into training in July.
I’m hoping he can go one better this time.
14:35 – Inthewaterside
He proved to be one of our better bumper horses last season by winning both his starts which I admit surprised me a bit because he was quite big and backward.
He won tidily first time at Exeter before powering clear up the hill at Sandown in the style of a classy horse.
While he is going nicely at home and has done plenty of schooling he’s a very big strong type, almost 18 hands, and the hurdles tend to get in his way a little bit, so the experience at Aintree will not be lost on him.
15:10 – Sonigino
He ran a race full of promise two weeks in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow where he cruised through the race, led two out before finishing third after tiring late on as lack of peak fitness told.
The testing ground that day just found him out and hopefully he has a lovely chance with my one worry that this race might be coming a bit too soon after Chepstow.
The plan is then to go chasing with him.
Sonigino in action – he runs in the Jewson Handicap Hurdle at Aintree on Sunday afternoon
13:10 – Him Malaya
He has been a bit backward up to now but has shown a bit of promise and there should be some improvement to come.
He looks to be on a decent mark in this handicap for conditional jockeys and is well capable of running tidily.
14:19 – Liari
He’s an interesting recruit new recruit by Cracksman and won at Toulouse over ten furlongs in the Spring in the colours of the Aga Khan.
He was due to run at Chepstow a fortnight ago until I pulled him out when the ground turned bottomless after torrential rain.
He has done plenty of schooling and I’m hopeful he can be a useful juvenile.
14:54 – Panjari
He arrived from Germany with two Listed wins to his name but he blew a fuse in the paddock on his debut for us at Chepstow a fortnight ago and had left his race behind by the time he got to the start.
That was a total surprise because he hadn’t misbehaved at home. Hopefully wearing a hood will help keep him calm this time and we will also saddle him in the racecourse stables.
The testing ground at Chepstow was also too soft for Panjari who will appreciate drier conditions at Wincanton.
15:29 – Enrilo
He has only got round twice over the past two seasons and has been incredibly frustrating but I still believe he has the ability to pop up in a decent race one day.
On his last start he fell in the bet365 Gold Cup and broke some ribs when another horse trod on him.
He has been schooled twice a week over all sorts of obstacles and I’m looking for a confidence booster for him in this race which would set him up for shot at the Badger Beer Chase back at Wincanton on November 11.
He schooled great over fences on Friday morning and it wouldn’t surprise me me if he ran very well.
15:29 – Switch Hitter
A fun horse, he had a shortened campaign last winter after a setback and did well to win on his second start at this course in the Spring.
The forecast is dry between now and Sunday and the better the ground the better Switch Hitter and Enrilo should run.
Switch Hitter is one of two horses Nicholls has entered in the 15.29 race at Wincanton
16:04 – Oscars Moonshine
He is forging a rewarding partnership with my daughter Olive and seems to have turned a corner after a frustrating time with injuries.
They scored tidily at Wincanton at the end of last season and again won with something to spare at Kempton seven days ago.
Oscars Moonshine picked up a penalty for his latest success which takes his weight to 12 st 9lbs but this is a condensed handicap and the last chance for him to run him before he is re-assessed.
Olive rides him with plenty of confidence and takes a valuable 7lbs off his back.
Hitman. I couldn’t be happier with his preparation as he seeks to go one better in this race than last year.