Big weekend for Paul Nicholls as Bravemansgame bids to enhance reputation
Bravemansgame, arguably Britain's most promising novice chase prospect, will bid to make it two from two over fences in Saturday's John Romans Park Homes 'Rising Stars' Novices' Chase (1.50) at Wincanton.
The Paul Nicholls-trained chaser put in an electrifying display on his seasonal reappearance at Newton Abbot and now steps up to Grade 2 company where he will face five rivals, including stablemate Mick Pastor.
Nicholls has an excellent record in the race, with previous winners including See More Business (1996), Silviniaco Conti (2011) and Frodon (2016). It is a significant weekend for the trainer, who also saddles unbeaten novice hurdler Knappers Hill earlier on the card (1.15).
Sceau Royal will bid for a second straight Unibet Elite Hurdle (3.35), with jockey Daryl Jacob and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Soeude chasing a third consecutive victory in the race.
Among his six challengers for the Grade 2 are Goshen, who was a 22-length winner over course and distance in the Kingwell Hurdle, and Irish pair Belfast Banter, who won last season's County Hurdle, and Sole Pretender.
A field of 15 has been declared for the feature Listed 60th Badger Beer Handicap Chase (3.00), with Truckers Lodge heading the weights.
Last year's first and second, El Presente and Potterman, are back for more off 6lb higher marks while the Nicholls-trained grey Highland Hunter heads the betting.
The Ditcheat trainer also holds a strong hand at Aintree, where there is action over the National fences in the Betway Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (2.15).
Seven-year-old Cat Tiger represents the trainer for owner-rider David Maxwell in the 2m5f contest and is unexposed after just three chase starts in Britain.
He will face 13 rivals including the 2019 winner Hogan's Height, Midlands National winner Time To Get Up and Senior Citizen, who finished third in the Topham over the same course and distance in April.
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