Paul Nicholls on Pic D’Orhy, Kalif Du Berlais and Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle hopeful Sonigino – as he prepares seven runners for Kempton and Warwick

  • Nicholls believes Pic D’Orhy has the best chance at Kempton in the 14.07 
  • Also running are Kalif Du Berlais, Sonigino, Irish Hills, and Cap Du Mathan 
  • Broken Halo and Rickety Bridge will run at Warwick on Saturday afternoon 

Trainer Paul Nicholls has seven horses at meetings at Kempton and Warwick on Saturday afternoon, including the highly fancied Pic D’Orhy.  

Also running at the Sunbury-on-Thames course are Kalif Du Berlais, Sonigino, Irish Hill, and Cap Du Mathan.

Here, Betfair ambassador Nicholls runs through his seven runners at Kempton and Warwick. 


12.20 – Kalif Du Berlais

An interesting recruit from France he won stylishly on his racecourse debut at Compiegne early in October and kept on strongly in the closing stages. 

Sonigino (centre) has long been prepared to take part in the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle

Sonigino (centre) has long been prepared to take part in the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle

The hard thing is that he gets an 8lbs penalty for that success. He is a big, strong chasing horse for the future and this race seems a good starting point for him in this country. 

He settled in quickly after joining us two months ago and we do like him. 

14.07 – Pic D’Orhy 

He won this by sixteen lengths a year ago and has a solid chance of completing the double. I don’t think he was at his best when he was successful in his only race this season at Ascot where he found the ground quicker than ideal. 

But he still won decisively and we fancied our chances against Shiskin before he refused to start. 

Pic D’Orhy is in good shape, working nicely and I’ve had this race in mind for him for a while. 

14.42 – Sonigino 

The Lanzarote has been the plan for Sonigino from the moment he bolted in at Aintree early last month. He has progressed nicely this season and was well suited by stepping back up in trip at Aintree where he looked like the winner a long way from home. 

The key to his improvement is that he is settling better in his races with experience. He was raised 6lbs after Aintree and will not find things easy under top weight of twelve stone. 

14.42 – Irish Hill 

I was pleased to see him show a lot more last time when he finished second at Newbury in first time blinkers after two below par runs. He will also enjoy the better ground at Kempton though it is only two weeks since he had quite a hard race at Newbury. 

15.15 – Cap Du Mathan 

He was largely consistent in his first season over fences but he struggled at Ascot last time when they went too quick for him. He does have to leave that poor run behind him but it’s encouraging that he ran well when second at this course last March. 


15.00 – Broken Halo 

He bounced back to form with victories in two races for military riders at Sandown in the spring and was running another sound race at the same track six weeks ago when he fell three from home. 

Paul Nicholls has seven runners on Saturday at both Kempton and Warwick racecourses

Paul Nicholls has seven runners on Saturday at both Kempton and Warwick racecourses

I was surprised to see him going so well until then because I didn’t think he was ready. Broken Halo needed a bit of time to recover from quite a heavy fall that day but he is fine now and has done plenty of schooling. 

16.05 – Rickety Bridge 

He’s declared at Wincanton on Friday but if that meeting is abandoned then he will run at Warwick. He is a promising type who stays well and will be a tidy novice over hurdles next season. 

Best chance – Pic D’Orhy. 

He has plenty in his favour as he bids for a repeat success in this Grade 2 Chase. 

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