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About Dan:

Dan has worked with horses for his whole life and spent nine years as Assistant Trainer to Champion National Hunt Trainer Paul Nicholls. With that invaluable experience under his belt, he has embarked on his own training career and now has almost 200 winners under his belt, including Willow’s Saviour’s memorable victory in the 2013 Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot. Dan will be providing a unique insight into his horses and their chances exclusively for Coral.

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StableTalk: “He’s had this as his aim since Taunton and there’s a lot in his favour”

Saturday

3.00 Ascot – Debdebdeb

She’s got no weight and the only unknown with her is the ground, as it could end up being properly soft ground. That said, her light weight brings her in to play despite the ground; she will stay the trip well and has an obvious chance. It’s a competitive race of course but we are at the right end of the weights, given the ground. I’m looking forward to running her – in fact I’m looking forward to all my runners on Saturday – but this looks like a really decent chance of winning a valuable pot. It’s £45,000 after all!

3.35 Ascot – Savello

HORSE RACING

It was always the plan to step him up in trip and I thought the race would cut up a bit from its original entry, although Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti are of course still in there. You can make some kind of case for the majority of the runners, but equally you can make a fair case against most of them as well, so whilst I’m not saying we are going to win, we might have a chance of getting in the frame. He jumps well, I know he stays the trip; he stayed the trip under top weight in the Galway Plate. I’m happy with him at home, he’s been going well, Bridget rides, and she knows him well.

Bridget gets on really well with Savello at home and if you think a jockey can do the job you stick with them. He’s an older horse and he goes well for her, and given Harry isn’t riding she’d be devastated if she wasn’t riding him, because she rides him every day at home. The owners bought him to run in big races, without necessarily expecting to win one, so they’re already living the dream, and Bridget’s the best person to ride him.

4.25 Haydock – Churchtown Champ

There are just the five runners but this is a good race and Duke Des Champs sets a decent standard. Whilst the race has cut up it’s still a decent race as they are all 135-plus horses. I think the track will suit, the trip suits him and he goes in the ground. He is totally unexposed for us still so I give him a chance, I really do. If Duke Des Champs turns up in the form he’s shown, he’ll be tough to beat. As far as all the others go? Yeah, I think on our best day we can definitely beat those. This horse is definitely going to be an ever better chaser next season.

3.20 Wincanton – Pain Au Chocolat

Pain_Au_Chocolat

The Kingwell was always going to cut up given the ground. If he’s back to anything like his best Irving will be hard to beat even though he’s carrying an 8lb penalty. He didn’t run so well up at Newcastle but he’s had a nice break since then. I entered Pain Au Chocolat for the race as I thought it would cut up, and there are no novice chases around at the moment that would suit him.

It’s a valuable hurdle and he’s bang there on ratings with Rayvin Black and Melodic Rendezvous, he’s fine on the ground and the track will be perfect for him. He has got to step up on what he’s shown over hurdles, but I think he’s now running to an even better level over fences than he did over hurdles which suggests he’s improved with age and experience. I think the figures show that he’s a better horse this year than last year, so that’s why we are having a go and think we can go well. We are also coming here off the back of winning a race very easily; OK it was a non-event, but my horse is still quite fresh, whereas Rayvin Black and Melodic Rendezvous have been having tough races recently.

Sunday

3.55 Market Rasen – Fairytale Theatre

FAIRYTALE THEATRE at Warwick 7-2-15.

She looks one of the best in at the weights. There’s a load of rain forecast to come in which will suit her, and she’s been jumping her fences well at home. She ran a pretty ordinary race last time but to be fair her run before was a career best so it was always going to be hard for her to back up a career best. She gets the mares’ allowance in this race, so I think she has a good chance.

Dan.