Pauling gearing up Chepstow squad

Ben Pauling is preparing a small but select team for next week’s Unibet Jump Season Opener at Chepstow.

Awaythelad has been earmarked for a tilt at the Grade Two Unibet Persian War Novices’ Hurdle on the Friday card of a two-day fixture.

The six-year-old was placed at Uttoxeter, Ascot and Fontwell last season and could benefit from that experience in what is always a competitive contest.

Pauling told Sky Sports Racing: “He just wasn’t quite right last season and is still a maiden.

“But you quite often see, with a bit of experience under your belt, a second-season novice goes well in a race like that.

“You might not be the best novice hurdler for the rest of the season but experience helps and we’re aiming him for that.”

Galahad Threepwood closed last season with a disappointing effort at Cheltenham after falling heavily at Warwick.

However, he had previously scored at Doncaster and is a possible contender for the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle.

“He was a bit tricky to win with last year but did win one and he’s got loads of gears, so he could do that sort of race,” added Pauling.

Jipcot was 11th in the Triumph Hurdle on his first start for Pauling after landing a Pau double under Patrice Quinton.

The trainer reported: “He’s a lovely French horse we’ve bought who we probably rushed a little bit when running in the good juveniles towards the end of last year.

“He’s come back in looking great so he’ll go for the four-year-old handicap hurdle.”

Pauling finished last term with a career-best tally of 80 winners and is keen to build on that with another strong campaign.

He said: “The yard’s thriving, everyone is in a great place and it’s a really enjoyable time for us at the moment.

“Last season went so well that you sort of have to pinch yourself, but at the same time as everyone is saying how amazing it was, you’ve now got to stick to it.

“We’ve got some fabulous owners who have bought some very nice horses so hopefully we’ve got some really nice ones to go to war with.”

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