Paul Nicholls shares his thoughts on promising Il Pino and Irish Hill – as well as his six other runners at Kempton and Uttoxeter on Saturday

  • Nicholls saw success at Cheltenham Festival with Pertemps winner Monmiral
  • British trainer will now take eight horses to Kempton and Uttoxter on Saturday 
  • Outlaw Peter represents his strongest chance of the afternoon’s action 

Paul Nicholls has eight horses running at both Kempton and Uttoxeter after a busy Cheltenham Festival week came to a close on Friday. 

Nicholls’ Monmiral won on Cheltenham Wednesday to hand the British trainer his only victory of the week, and focus will now switch to his prospects this weekend.  

Here, the Betfair ambassador shares his thoughts on his horses at Kempton and Uttoxeter on Saturday. 


1.35 – Beau Balko 

He is consistent, won tidily at Musselburgh last time and is now 4lbs higher on a mark of 127. He has his chance on another flat, right-handed track. 

2.10 – Irish Hill 

The more it dries out at Kempton the better it will suit Irish Hill who I am expecting to run well. He has dropped 7lbs to a more realistic mark since the start of the season and hasn’t enjoyed racing on deep ground for most of the winter. 

Paul Nicholls has eight horses running at Kempton and Uttoxter the day after the end of this year's Cheltenham Festival

Paul Nicholls has eight horses running at Kempton and Uttoxter the day after the end of this year’s Cheltenham Festival

2.10 – Hugo’s New Horse 

He has had issues with his breathing so we have given him a full wind op since his last run. I’d say he is sure to improve for the outing and could be one to take to Aintree or Ayr in a few week’s time 

2.45 – Outlaw Peter 

He won four times over hurdles last season including a race on this card a year ago and I was always looking forward to him going over fences. He ran well last time at Musselburgh and has a nice chance over a track and trip that plays to his strengths. 

4.30 – Il Pino 

He won his only Point-to-Point at Chaddesley Corbett and made an eye-catching start for us with an impressive victory on his hurdles debut at Wincanton in November. The form looks strong with the runner-up subsequently winning twice and the fourth horse has also been successful. 

Il Pino is obviously a talented horse, but he is fragile to train, lost a fair bit of condition after that race and it has taken me ages to get him right again. I’m happy with him now and hoping he can confirm my view that he has a decent future. 


1.15 – Below The Radar 

He’s made a bright start for us, winning his bumper at Chepstow in November before making a successful debut over hurdles at Hereford six weeks ago. He has a 6lbs penalty in this deeper race so Freddie Gingell’s 5lbs claim comes in handy. 

3.00 – Truckers Lodge 

He is a standing dish in this race, won it in runaway style off a mark of 141 in 2020 and here he is back again for a fifth time. The heavier the ground, the more it will suit Truckers Lodge who is only a few years younger than his 18-year-old jockey Freddie Gingell. 

I then ran him a bit too quickly in the Coral Welsh National after his fine win in the London National at Sandown. Truckers Lodge has had a nice break since then and is fresh and bouncing now. He has an each way chance with conditions in his favour. 

Truckers Lodge (left) will go well with the heavy ground due at Uttoxter on Saturday afternoon

Truckers Lodge (left) will go well with the heavy ground due at Uttoxter on Saturday afternoon

4.45 – Captain Bellamy 

His below par run at Ascot last time told us that he doesn’t handle racing right-handed and that he needs soft ground. He’d looked a smart prospect when winning his bumper comfortably at Chepstow in October and I’m looking for him to bounce back at Uttoxeter with conditions in his favour. 

Best chance

Outlaw Peter – 2.45, Kempton – He has solid claims at a track where he won twelve months ago. 

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