Nicholls double-handed as Charm bids to shine
Pertemps Network Stratford Foxhunters Champion Hunters’ Chase | 3m3½f | 5yo+ | ATR
Paul Nicholls could hold the key to a £25,000 prize which traditionally brings the curtain down on the hunter chase season as he will be doubly represented by Wonderful Charm and Rebel Rebellion.
Wonderful Charm will be ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen for the first time after his father Robert recently purchased a share in the nine-year-old, who was last seen finishing a distant 19th behind One For Arthur in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
Nicholls said: “I think it’s fair to put a line through his Aintree run as things did not go his way but prior to that he had run a blinder in the Cheltenham Foxhunters when just touched off by his stablemate Pacha Du Polder.
“We have kept him fresh at home with this race in mind as a flat track like Stratford suits him ideally and he should give Sam a great spin. His father Robert recently bought into the horse for Sam to ride in the race and in hunter chases next year.”
Of Rebel Rebellion, he added: “Bryony Frost has struck up a good relationship with the old horse as she has ridden him to win on the last couple of occasions. On ratings he has his chance and should run his race, but this contest represents a tougher task than the races he has been winning.”
Man Of Steel comes into the race on a four-timer after his most recent comfortable victory at Cartmel just nine days ago added to a couple of other wins last month and he will be ridden again by trainer Alan Hill’s amateur rider son Joe.
Hill said: “The horse has come out of his last two runs in very good form and, as he won so easily at Cartmel, this race seemed the logical step. It's a bit quick, which is not our usual policy, but it will be his last race of the season so he takes his chance.
“Obviously with all the rain about it might end up being on the soft side at the course, but that is not really a worry as he seems to handle most conditions. He has won on soft and heavy ground but the bulk of his form is on good so we'll have to wait and see.”