‘He’s been working beautifully and excels at Cheltenham’ – Paul Nicholls loves the look of his best Trials Day bet

‘He’s been working beautifully and excels at Cheltenham’ – Paul Nicholls loves the look of his best Trials Day bet

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PAUL NICHOLLS is desperate to see vengeance for Il Ridoto at Cheltenham – after his top chaser was denied in a thriller last time.

Bryony Frost and Il Ridoto rode out one of the finishes of the season when going down to Gavin Sheehan and Fugitif in the Virgin Bet Gold Cup last month.

Il Ridoto went down in a thriller when last seen at Cheltenham - and trainer Nicholls fancies revenge

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Il Ridoto went down in a thriller when last seen at Cheltenham – and trainer Nicholls fancies revengeCredit: PA

But the Ditcheat maestro is confident his seven-year-old can go one better in the Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase.

Victory is worth more than £56,000 and Harry Cobden jumps in Frost’s place in the saddle on Saturday.

Betfair ambassador Nicholls says Il Ridoto has been showing all the right signs at home – he just needs to take it to the racecourse.

Nicholls said: “He seems to reserve his best for Cheltenham and won this race a year ago off a mark of 138.

“He is now 10lbs higher after a career best when he was just in the last stride by Fugitif in the December Gold Cup after looking like the winner landing over the last fence with a clear lead.

“Il Ridoto has been working beautifully at home, looks great and must have a strong chance.

“It’s a tough call but I just favour Il Ridoto as my best chance of the weekend, he excels at Cheltenham.”

It’s a huge weekend of action with Doncaster’s card a great support act to Cheltenham’s Trials Day blockbuster.

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Nicholls also runs the likes of Hitman, huge Brown Advisory chance Stay Away Fay and Sir Alex Ferguson’s exciting Isaac Des Obeaux at the home of jumps.

But one entry that catches the eye at Donny is Welcome To Cartries.

Lorcan Williams gets the leg up on the Johnny de la Hey-owned six-year-old who’s stacked full of promise.

And Nicholls said of his chances: “He won his only point-to-point in Eire and has shown plenty of promise in his first two starts for us over hurdles at Ascot.

“The experience he gained when narrowly beaten on his hurdles debut was put to good use as he won handsomely next time just before Christmas.

“He worked stylishly on Thursday morning, will relish the step up to three miles and has a chance in a tough race.”

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