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About: Paul Nicholls Racing

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Hectic spring brings record breaking rewards

Finding time for my blog this week has been by no means been an easy task.

We have saddled loads of runners and spent lots of time going to the races, not to mention plenty of riding out at home which has crucially yielded a bag full of winners, a record amount in fact. You see, up until Monday the most winners Paul had trained in one season was 155, but with the help of Sam and Dolos we breezed to 156 and in the process broke his personal record of winners, an achievement we are all extremely proud of. While some yards may be starting to slow down and creep towards the end of the year, we are very much full steam ahead with plenty of nice horses left to run and look forward to.

When Stan and I were riding out the other day we got chatting about our favourite moments of the season and, it’s only when you start looking back, one realises what fantastic days you have been a part of throughout the year. While I was having this conversation I wasn’t aware that another highlight was about to crop up the very next day. Being assistant to Paul I regularly find myself in the driver’s seat on the way to the races, but in Paul’s absence on Sunday I seized the opportunity to sit in the passenger’s seat and what a day it turned out to be.

Peak on top of the world as Silver grabs gold

Mr and Mrs Woodhouse are the new and very proud owners of Peak To Peak and, having been friends for some time, we thought it was a good idea if we made the journey to Plumpton together and what a good day it turned out to be.

Mark’s company is Hall and Woodhouse, makers of arguably the finest beer in the land and some even better public houses so, when we had broken the back of the journey, Mark concluded we had better stop off at one of these said pubs for some light refreshment before racing. Needless to say it was an excellent start to the day. I once again disappointed Mark with my modest drinking and, after a can of Rio and some lovely rare beef, we set about doing the last part of our journey deeper into Sussex.

Of course like any good story Peak To Peak read the script and made short work of winning his novice hurdle under an intelligent Harry Cobden drive, while Tommy Silver put in the performance of his career to win the fifth running of the Sussex Champion Hurdle, and in the process giving my pal Stan another special day in his young career.

We picked up the trophies and cruised back to Somerset satisfied with what was a really smashing days racing. Plumpton will never be a huge track nor will it ever hold the richest or best racing, but the people there are charming and there was an excellent crowd so I loved my day out at the Sussex venue.

Tommy win crowns a magnificent week

Now of course, whatever the time of the season winning a race like the Sussex Champion Hurdle is incredibly satisfying, but for us winning it for Mr Ged Mason, one of Tommy’s owners, was very sweet indeed. Ged’s company is Morson International and just last week they signed a three-year sponsorship contract with Paul, something we are all incredibly excited about.

Aside from being one of our biggest owners, Ged is one of the kindest men I have ever had the good fortune of meeting. He is an incredibly hard-working man, believes in the good of the sport and the power of young and ambitious people. This is a man that shares our values and goals for the future and we simply could not be more pleased that Ged is backing us.

As you can see then with a record amount of winners and just about the finest new sponsor you could find, once again the sun is shining down on us at Ditcheat. Exeter is now calling me so I must go to saddle our horses with Paul and fingers crossed our good form continues.

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Red letter day

Monday was a Red Letter Day for Team Ditcheat as we set a new record for the number of winners trained here in one season.

We began the afternoon on a score of 155 which matched our best previous total in 2008-09.

The stylish victory of Dolos in the NH Novice Hurdle at Chepstow moved us on to 156 before the impressive triumph of If You Say Run in the closing bumper put us on 157 winners for this campaign. The horses have been in great form apart from a little blip in the first six weeks of the year and I was always hopeful of reaching a figure of 150. I relish the challenge of setting new targets and am now looking to kick on towards a figure of around 170 winners by the end of the final day at Sandown on Saturday week. We have plenty of horses to run before then and plenty to celebrate as they have already won almost £2,250,00 in prize money for their owners which is not a bad achievement given our shortage of Grade 1 horses. In addition this is the fifteenth consecutive season we have passed the mark of £2 million in prize money.

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Previous season best matched

A double at Plumpton on Sunday took our score for the season to 155 which matches our best total set in 2008-09.

First to strike was Peak To Peak in the opening novice hurdle before Tommy Silver bounced back to form by winning the £21,896 Sussex Champion Hurdle, the richest race ever run at the track. He could well be out again quickly.

It is great to see the team continuing in good form going into the final fortnight of the season and we will be having some interesting runners this week at Cheltenham, Ayr and Wincanton.

Marracudja is among those heading to Cheltenham in midweek while Vicente, Arpege D’Alene and Vivaldi Collonges are all pencilled in for the Scottish Grand National on Saturday and I could run a couple in the Scottish Champion Hurdle on the same day.
Warriors Tale is another heading to Ayr at the weekend as we look add a few more winners to our tally before the final day of the campaign at Sandown on Saturday, April 29.

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