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  1. #1
    Forced Kin

    Nicholls Vs Henderson

    and the winner is ?

  2. #2
    Aussie Jim

    The trainers’ championship is decided on win and place prize money, so particular emphasis on the big meetings is paramount for any stable with designs on the title.

    Following a brilliant Cheltenham Festival, where he saddled seven winners, and a treble at Kempton Park on Saturday, Nicky Henderson knocked Nicholls off the top of the table and established a narrow lead of £10,000.

    But Stewart, a long-time Nicholls supporter and owner, is of the opinion that the battle for the crown has only just started. “Paul and Nicky are both very competitive people, and I think this will go right down to the wire,” he predicted.

    “It might be like a few years ago when Paul and Martin Pipe were sending horses all over the place in the last week of the season to try to win the championship. I think it will be just as close this time.”

    Big Buck’s, who has not been beaten since November 2008 when he unshipped Sam Thomas in Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup, will be attempting to better Sir Ken’s record of 16 wins straight over hurdles when he lines up again in the Liverpool Hurdle.
    This remarkable gelding won the Ladbrokes World Hurdle for the fourth consecutive time last week when he held Voler La Verdette in an exciting finish and Stewart believes his champion can win for the fifth consecutive year at the Grand National meeting.

    “In 2008, he won the Mildmay Novices’ Chase, in which Albertas Run was third. That was when we didn’t realise we had a great hurdler in our midst. Since then, he has been back every year to win the Liverpool Hurdle and he will have a crack at the same race this time,” said Stewart.

    Stewart and his family have rejoiced in their champion, and have been keen to show him off to the public whenever possible. “But, after Liverpool, he’ll be having his holiday. We won’t be going to Punchestown. All going well, we would love to go back to next year’s Cheltenham Festival and try for a fifth World Hurdle.”

    A fifth win would take Big Buck’s into the realm of Golden Miller, the legendary chaser of the 1930s. “But, of course, Golden Miller’s wins were over fences. That was unbelievable,” said Stewart.

    Aintree may be the turning point in the trainers’ title battle. “Paul’s horses weren’t really firing at Cheltenham [30 runners, 2 winners and 2 seconds], even though he had Big Buck’s and Rock On Ruby. Overall, they weren’t running to the yard’s usual standard. Liverpool could be very different,” said Stewart.

  3. #3
    Stable Fat Jockey mayo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Nicholls edging ahead again. Henderson look a bit OTT.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Tight again

  5. #5

    The victory puts Nicholls in pole position to defend the jumps trainers' title despite Nicky Henderson's successes at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.

    Nicholls aded: "It's blown Nicky Henderson out the water, that's put that game over for another season. This is the one we wanted. It's brilliant."

    Hales said: "I just wanted him to get round safe. I never dreamed we'd win it. I’m so emotional I cannot believe it. He'll never race again."

    Jacob, who Nicholls has always rated, ever since recommending him to then near-neighbour Paul Keane when he was still a conditional, said: "Paul [Nicholls] really looked after me this year. It was a very, very tough, very close finish. He just kept going for all he's worth. He's dug very, very deep.

  6. #6
    Harry Fry won it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sprinter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Looks like the nose was the difference ...3 more for Henderson/Geraghty today.

  8. #8
    Administrator fjadmin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Nicholls not giving up on this year either ...

  9. #9
    Stable Fat Jockey mayo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Bromley had cheque book out for him too

    Talent spotting has played a crucial part in making Paul Nicholls champion jumps trainer and that role is even more important now that many of his big stars have moved on.

    Crucial to that role has been bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley, whose knowledge of the French racing market has particularly unearthed some gems headed by the great Kauto Star.

    Bromley has once again recruited heavily for Nicholls during the off season so which horse is he particularly looking forward to seeing run?

    Step forward, Wonderful Charm, a half-brother to the slightly disappointing Royal Charm, who won a novice hurdle at Paris track Auteuil before being placed in grade two company.

    The son of Poliglote carries the colours of Robin Geffen, the face behind prominent racing sponsors Neptune Investments who was also part owner of John Gosden’s 2010 St Leger winner Arctic Cosmos.

    A British debut in the Persian War Hurdle at Chepstow next month has been pencilled in.
    Millionaires' Row lives up to its name

    Nicholls appears fairly resigned about his chances of retaining his champion trainer title in the face of a strong challenge from Nicky Henderson.

    Hardly surprising when you consider the turnover of talent at his Somerset stable.

    Nowhere is that better demonstrated than in ‘Millionaires' Row’, the block of stables in the main yard in Ditcheat.

    It used to house names like Gold Cup winner Denman, Two-Mile Champion Chaser Master Minded and Grand National hero Neptune Collonges.

    Kauto Star, for the moment, still has his head poking out of his old box and four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s is there with Tingle Creek Chase hope Sanctuaire.

    But the most of rest – Pacha De Polders, Toubab, Keppols Hill, Rocky Creek and Dualla Lord - all are horses with hopefully more in front than behind them.

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