Nicholls considers Le Duc for Chepstow

Recent Wetherby winner Le Duc could reappear in a Grade Two Chase at Chepstow this Saturday.

Recent Wetherby winner Le Duc could reappear in a Grade Two Chase at Chepstow this Saturday.

The four-year-old, trained by Paul Nicholls, had a successful season over hurdles last term, capped with victory over the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Spectroscope at Aintree.

The gelding then made a successful transition to fences last Friday when scoring by three-and-a-half lengths in a beginners’ chase.

“I’m just going to see what the ground is like before making any decision,” Nicholls explained.

“Le Duc could be quite nicely in. He has got no penalty for winning last week and gets his four-year-old allowance.”

The Shepton Mallet handler also has Bal De Nuit, Santenay and recent Aintree faller Strong Flow engaged in in the Enter The Tote/Racing Post £1million Ten to Follow Rising Stars Novices’ Chase.

“They are all possibilities but Bal De Nuit won’t run unless it pours with rain, that is a definite,” Nicholls continued.

“Strong Flow would be unlikely unless it rains, with Le Duc and Santenay possibles, but I won’t decide until later in the week.”

With this Saturday being the last day of the 2003 Flat campaign, the jumps season really begins to hot-up, and Nicholls also has two entries in the Grade Two K J Pike & Sons Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.

Last month’s Kempton winner Rigmarole is due to run in the two-mile event along with Punchestown victor Sporazene.

“At this stage, Rigmarole runs, and he is fine,” Nicholls said.

“He’s done nothing wrong in his last few runs and won last time out. If the weather stays dry then he’ll run, but I wouldn’t risk Sporazene on fast ground, we’ll have to wait with him.”

East Lawyer may have his first start for the Somerset-based trainer having been a new recruit from France.

The four-year-old is entered in Chepstow’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Persian War Novices’ Hurdle and remains unexposed.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk with the owners yet but all of his form has been on soft ground round Auteuil.

“There is a bit of rain forecast so I’ll make a decision about him later in the week. Cornish Rebel won’t run if it’s fast,” Nicholls concluded.

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