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PAUL NICHOLLS: “He’s been trained for this” | Ditcheat bid for remarkable third win in Summer Plate on Saturday

Darling Maltaix aims to reward Paul Nicholls with a first win in the Summer Plate since 2017 on Saturday

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2020/21 champion trainer Paul Nicholls saddles one contender in a “competitive” renewal of the Grade 3 Betway Summer Plate Handicap Chase at Market Rasen on Saturday afternoon.

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The Somerset handler has won two previous renewals of the contest in 2001 and 2017, respectively, and puts his hopes on Darling Maltaix for this year’s renewal in Lincolnshire.

WATCH: THE CONSISTENT DARLING MALTAIX HAS EITHER WON OR PLACED ON 13 OF HIS 26 CAREER STARTS [CREDIT: AT THE RACES]

Having won his last start at Newton Abbot, the son of Voix Du Nord has been raised 3lb by the handicapper to a career-high mark of 134, but history does say that he fares much better over this sort of trip.

Harry Cobden (pictured) rides Darling Maltaix for Paul Nicholls in Saturday’s feature at Market Rasen

Former Grand National-winning chief Nicholls told Racing TV ahead of the contest: “He’s been trained for this race and I’m very happy with his prep – his run and win at Newton Abbot last month has really tightened him up.

“Saturday’s one of the toughest races he’s ever run in and it promises to be a competitive contest, but Darling’s ready for it. He looks brilliant in his skin, he’s fit, he’s relaxed and he’s working well – there’s lots of little crumbs to make a cake!”

2C7CCPM Captain Tom Cat and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies win the Sky Sports Racing Virgin 535 Novices' Hurdle at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
Captain Tom Cat is unbeaten over fences since his switch to the larger obstacles in May

For Ditcheat and Paul Nicholls to toast success on Saturday, they must dethrone Captain Tom Cat from his winning run with Dr. Richard Newland’s charge hunting a fourth success over fences.

The Aintree winner (solid form) has scored twice at Worcester in recent outings and is the general 9/2 favourite to land the odds despite his lofty mark.

Worcestershire-based trainer Newland said to the Sporting Life: “He’s been a complete revelation since going chasing and is obviously unbeaten over fences. The handicapper has not made it easy for him and he’s very nearly top weight as the youngest horse in the race.

Horse Racing - William Hill Imperial Cup Day - Sandown Racecourse
Newland won the Summer Plate in 2013 through Bobowen

“All of his racing over fences has been done going left-handed so it’ll be a different challenge on Saturday, but we look forward to running him and he’s in good form.

“He’s taken all of his races in his stride and he loves his jumping. He’s pretty inexperienced in a race like this but if he did manage to win off this mark he must be a very good horse.”

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