Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Could Nicholls' Impressive Record Be Gaul-Stoned?

Paul Nicholls has the top two in the betting for this weekend’s feature handicap chase at Newbury, with Sametegal the 7-1 favourite with William Hill and Art Mauresque at 8-1.

Nicholls has a great record in the race, having won it seven times in the last ten years.

There’s also French interest with Emmanuel Clayeux potentially sending over 16-1 chance Pythagore and 20-1 Vicomte Du Seuil.

“We have a serious amount of respect for Paul Nicholls’ record in the race but perhaps a French raider could be the bookies’ saviour?” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson has an intriguing horse called Close Touch, who is returning from almost a year out. He runs in The Queen’s silks and is 10-1 with William Hill to return with a win. Close Touch broke a blood vessel when pulling up in last season’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree. Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase: 7-1 Sametegal, 8-1 Art Mauresque, 9-1 La Vaticane, Ultragold, 10-1 Close Touch, Off The Ground, 11-1 Bennys Mist, 14-1 Cocktails At Dawn, Generous Ransom, Little Jon, Ulis De Vassy, 16-1 Ballyadeen, Pythagore, Shutthefrontdoor, 20-1 Argocat, Bear’s Affair, Simply Wings, Vicomte Du Seuil, 25-1 Aerlite Supreme, Seventh Sky, 33-1 Laser Hawk, Un Beau Roman, Wilton Milan, 50-1 Saint Raph, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4)