Edward Whitaker / racingpost.com/photos

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Paul Nicholls: saddle the well-supported Dargiannini

Edward Whitaker / racingpost.com/photos

Dargiannini, trained by Paul Nicholls, was one of the bets of the day, having been backed 7-1 to 7-2 by favoritism for the Play Coral ‘Racing-Super-Series’ For Free Handicap Hurdle (4.10) at Kempton.

Saturday has been a good day so far for Nicholls, with two winners for the trainer including Pic D’Orhy, who took victory in the Grade 2 Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton with a good leap over the last to beat Millers Bank.

It was the 12th time in the last 17 races that the Pendil had been won by a rider trained by Nicholls.

Earlier today Hacker Des Places picked up a first win of the day for the British champion trainer in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow as the trainer regains some form after what had been a year 2022 lean so far.


Adonis Hurdle: Knight Salute maintains undefeated hurdles record with third win in Grade 2


In the Eider, Christian Williams’ Win My Wings was supported in obvious favoritism. The versatile nine-year-old, who won a mare race at Cheltenham and a French hurdle race at Compiègne last season, is 5-1 from 15-2 to score, replacing longtime favorite and Irish raider History Of Fashion that is adrift.

Ryan Mania makes the rounds for the first time with punters hoping Williams’ skill at grooming his horses for marathon chases, as demonstrated by 2019 Welsh National winner Potters Corner, which he runs also here, can bear fruit.

Williams also has three runners in the £150,000 feature at Kempton, the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (3.37), with Kitty’s Light the best-backed of the trio with runner-up Charlie Hall Chase as short as 14-1 in places after being 25-1 overnight.

Market Movers

3.15 Newcastle Earn my wings 5-1f (from 15-2)
3.37 Kempton Kitty’s Light 14-1 (from 25-1)
4.10 Kempton Dargiannini 7-2f (from 7-1)
4.18 fairy house Escaria Ten 7-4 (from 11-4)


“It’s not at all too dry”

Kempton and Newcastle are good, good to soft in spots ahead of their seven-race stellar charts on Saturday afternoon.

Kempton Race Director Barney Clifford reported that all systems were in place for the reunion, including three Year 2s and featuring the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase.

Clifford said: “It’s lovely. It’s a little chilly and we’re in one degree right now but we’re good to mild, good in spots. It’s going to be dry throughout the day but it’s going to ride a bit dead. “

Meanwhile, Newcastle clerk Elouise Quayle noted the ground would not dry out too much throughout the afternoon action after a quiet few days in the North East. Quayle said: “We’re good to mild, good in spots. It’s a lovely still mild morning for this time of year and it looks like it’s going to be a very nice day today weather-wise.

“Yesterday was also remarkably calm. The day before we had quite strong winds which changed quite quickly, but yesterday was a nice calm day so it didn’t dry out too much at all.”


Non-runners

The wait for Ardhill, a dazzling winner of a handicap from Ascot in December, to make his next start continues after Gordon Elliott opted to withdraw his seven-year-old from the 2m4f handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse for which he ran the market.

That seven-and-a-half-length success at the Berkshire track came on good-to-soft ground with Elliott taking on Ardhill, who holds an entry for the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival, due to softened ground at Fairyhouse.

Edward Whitaker

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Ardhill (front): Released at Fairyhouse by Gordon Elliott

Ardhill (front): Released at Fairyhouse by Gordon Elliott

Edward Whitaker

fairy house
3.08
17. Ard Hill
3.43
12. Prince Zaltar

Lingfield
4.20 8. Makarova

Newcastle
3.15
17. Strong Economy
3.50 6. Lively Citizen
5.00 1. Joy Of Living, 5. Bestiary

The Cheltenham Ultimate Guide has everything the smart punter needs for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. With great race previews, tips, trends and more, the Cheltenham Ultimate Guide has it all. Order now.

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