Leading 2021 Grand National Festival winning trainer Paul Nicholls saddles Scaramanga ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s Sky Bet Handicap as the son of the late Mastercraftsman chases a fourth win in a row on the Knavesmire.
Last season’s jumps champion trainer celebrated three winners across Aintree’s feature meeting of the campaign but his focus today lies across the Pennines at York as his six-year-old Somerset contender seeks a second successive win on the flat.
He closed his campaign over obstacles with victories at Newbury and Sandown, respectively, before success at the aforementioned Berkshire course in the other code last month under Silvestre de Sousa.
And the Brazillian pilot partners him once again this week as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record in 2021.
Speaking in his blog last month, handler Nicholls said the original plan had been to go to Glorious Goodwood but did provide an update on his plans for the Malcolm Denmark-owned horse.
“This is a horse on a roll now.
“Further ahead, he could be interesting in the autumn – something like the Grade 2 three-mile hurdle at Wetherby at the end of October if the ground is decent.
“Our small band of summer jumpers have been in sparkling form with 21 winners and if we can add another four by Chepstow’s first meeting in early October, I will be delighted.”