‘He’s one of my aces of the week’ – Paul Nicholls’ top Cheltenham Festival hope

Paul Nicholls dominated the Cheltenham Festival back in the days of Kauto Star, Masterminded and Denman. The last few years have been a little leaner but he bounced back with two Grade 1 victories at last year’s Festival. He has another small but select team for 2024 and we’ve picked out four horses from his recent stable tour that he sounds particularly confident about. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.

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Baring Bingham/Albert Bartlett

Captain Teague surprised a few by finishing third in the Champion Bumper last year and his trainer remains a firm believer in this horse. Nicholls said: “We’ll keep our options open with regards which race he goes for and see what the ground is like. If the ground was very soft, I’d say the Baring Bingham would suit him nicely, but if it’s drying spring ground, he could go for the Albert Bartlett. He’s every bit as good at the same stage of his career as Stay Away Fay, who won the Albert Bartlett last year.”

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Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Stay Away Fay was one of Nicholls’ winners at last year’s Festival and he has made a promising start to his chasing career. The trainer stated: “He’s had a good season so far and ran very well in his first start outside novice company when third in the Cotswold Chase last time. I didn’t have him fully wound up for that but he learned a lot in a race that turned into a bit of a sprint. He’s rated 159, is a class horse and the greater the test of stamina the better it will be for him.”


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Turners Novices’ Chase

Ginny’s Destiny is improving at an impressive rate so far this season and did well to win off a huge weight in handicap company last time. Nicholls said: “He’s one of my aces of the week. All he’s done is keep improving and his rate of improvement at home has been mirrored on the track. He’s rated three pounds higher than Stage Star was going into the Turners last year and he’s ready to go into a Grade 1. He’s got to progress again but I’d like to think he’s got a very nice chance.”


Gold Cup

Bravemansgame was a valiant second in this race last year but hasn’t been at his best since. Nicholls is confident that he’ll be primed for the big occasion. He said: “We’re keeping him nice and fresh, he looks good and I think he’s got a nice chance. I’m not pretending we can beat Galopin Des Champs but I’ve no doubt Shishkin and Bravemansgame are the two best staying chasers in Britain and I think they’re very close. He’s going there fresh and, at around 20-1, I think he’s a big price.”


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