Paul Nicholls picks out a potential Ryanair winner, and it runs on Saturday!

Real Steel wins the Kinloch Brae Chase under Paul Townend

You can get the low-down on all of Paul Nicholls’ runners for the upcoming campaign in Racing Post’s Stable Tour. It’s available for Racing Post Members’ Club subscribers in full on the website and will prove an invaluable guide for this season.

Ditcheat has started the season is remarkable fashion, with Paul Nicholls orchestrating his string into a crescendo. In the past two weeks alone, Nicholls has sent out 58 horses, with twenty returning to the winner’s enclosure.

When Nicholls talks, you listen. Speaking to Racing Post for their Stable Tour, he gave a very warm reception to one of his newest acquisitions. You can find out all the information on that horse below.


“I really like this horse”

Nicholls received a slew of horses from leading owner Jared Sullivan earlier in the year. Sullivan chose to base all his horses in the UK, which has handed Nicholls a big opportunity. Real Steel was one of those exciting horses acquired and there’s understandably plenty of excitement in the Ditcheat camp surrounding him.

Speaking of Real Steel to Racing Post, Nicholls said: “I really like this horse. It looked as though he might win the Gold Cup going to the final fence“.

That referenced performance came back in March, where he posted a career-best effort in sixth. Taking into the Gold Cup, he looked the likely winner turning into the straight before he was outstayed on the run-in.

That was an eye-catching performance, however, and suggested that a drop back in distance could reap rewards.


“He’s a lovely horse and a pleasure to have in the yard”

Nicholls is clearly of that opinion too, continuing to say: “I don’t know whether he got the trip, but in my opinion he leaps out as a potential Ryanair Chase winner. We’ll start him back in the Grade 2 at Ascot“.

That Ascot contest on Saturday is over the 2m 5f distance, where he’ll face a select field that includes Imperial Aura, Itchy Feet and Black Corton. If he was to pass that test with flying colours, an even loftier target could be in mind.

Given insight by one of the great jockeys, Nicholls also told Racing Post: “I’ve also made an entry for the King George because Ruby Walsh tells me he thinks the horse is good right-handed“.

Given the way he tanked into the Gold Cup, the King George could be a perfect contest for him. The easier test is an obvious positive and he doesn’t seem short of stamina for a softer three miles. A best priced 16/1 for the Kempton showpiece at the time of writing, that won’t hold up if he wins on Saturday.

If he does return to Cheltenham in 2021, then the Ryanair looks the obvious target. It’s the perfect test for him on paper and with Nicholls seemingly confident, his 16/1 Festival odds could look extremely tempting.


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