Trainer Paul Nicholls confident McFabulous can strike at Kempton in 'perfect' Reelkeel Hurdle under Harry Cobden

Trainer Paul Nicholls confident McFabulous can strike at Kempton in 'perfect' Reelkeel Hurdle under Harry Cobden

January 9, 2021

TRAINER Paul Nicholls is confident McFabulous can do the business in Kempton's Reelkeel Hurdle this afternoon.

The Betfair ambassador reckons the switch from Cheltenham to Kempton is 'perfect' for his horse.

He'll be partnered by Harry Cobden in the rescheduled Grade 2 over two-and-a-half miles.

And our man Templegate also thinks he'll get the job done and makes him his big NAP of the day.

Nicholls said: "Switching this race to Kempton from Cheltenham’s abandoned card on New Year’s Day is a big plus for McFabulous.

"I was a bit nervous about him on deep ground at Cheltenham and he will much happier on better ground at Kempton where he was so impressive over this distance in the EBF final just before lockdown.

"He ran very well when third to Thyme Hill and Paisley Park at Newbury and this trip looks perfect for him."

It's a busy afternoon for Nicholls' Ditcheat team and he also has Master Tommytucker in the Silviniaco Chase at the same track.

He continued: "His jumping has improved a lot since he was last at Kempton and this looks a nice race for him with only a handful of runners.

"I thought he ran all right for a long way off top weight and learned plenty in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham which was a seriously competitive race.

"I am expecting a big run from Master Tommytucker with Imperial Aura the one to beat."

Nicholls also has two bullets to fire at the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

Bryony Frost will partner Yala Enki with youngster Lorcan Williams to team up with Truckers Lodge.

Nicholls said: "Conditions will be ideal for both of ours in the Welsh National.

"Yala Enki stays all day, has gone close in the race for the last two years and is again a big player despite carrying top weight. He did brilliantly at Cheltenham in November when he was only just chinned by Ramses de Teillee.

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"That was a career best in my book but he then over jumped at the first in the Becher Chas at Aintree which was just one of those things. He looks rock solid in a race tailor made for him.

"Truckers Lodge is nice and fresh and was fine after he unluckily unseated Lorcan William at Kelso the day I expected him to go close.

"He is a relentless galloper and ran clean away with the Midlands Grand National just before lockdown, although the handicapper had his say afterwards by raising him 14lbs.

"Truckers Lodge ran a blinder in this race a year ago to be beaten less than two lengths by Potters Corner and will give a good account again though it will be harder for him from his new handicap mark."

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