2006

2005-06

148 Winners

£2,402,374 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Kauto Star wins Tingle Creek

Noland wins Supreme Novices‘ Hurdle

Star De Mohaison wins RSA Chase

2007

2006-07

126 Winners

£2,972,659 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Kauto Star wins Cheltenham Gold Cup

Kauto Star wins King George VI Chase

Denman wins RSA Chase

2008

2007-08

151 Winners

£3,646,511 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Kauto Star wins King George VI Chase

Denman wins Cheltenham Gold Cup

Master Minded wins Champion Chase

2009

2008-09

155 Winners

£3,473,329 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Kauto Star wins King George VI Chase

Kauto Star wins Cheltenham Gold Cup

Master Minded wins Champion Chase

2010

2009-10

115 Winners

£2,864,070 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Kauto Star wins King George VI Chase

Big Buck's wins World Hurdle

Master Minded wins Champion Chase

2011

2010-11

134 Winners

£2,424,059 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Zarkandar wins JCB Triumph Hurdle

Big Buck's wins World Hurdle

Master Minded wins Melling Chase

2012

2011-12

138 Winners

£3,297,804 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Neptune Collonges wins Grand National

Rock On Ruby wins Champion Hurdle

Kauto Star wins King George VI Chase

2014

2013-14

118 Winners

£2,469,893 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Zarkandar wins Aintree Hurdle

Silviniaco Conti wins King George VI Chase

Silviniaco Conti wins Betfred Bowl Chase

2015

2014-15

124 Winners

£3,246,894 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Dodging Bullets wins Champion Chase

Silviniaco Conti wins King George VI Chase

Silviniaco Conti wins Betfair Chase

2016

2015-16

122 Winners

£2,439,740 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Vicente wins Scottish Grand National Chase

Silviniaco Conti wins Betfair Ascot Chase

Adrien Du Pont wins Finale Juvenile Hurdle

PAUL NICHOLLS

Racehorse Trainer

Early in October Paul Nicholls celebrated a notable landmark after 25 years as a racehorse trainer at Ditcheat. His career as a jockey yielded over 100 winners before he arrived at Manor Farm Stables in October 1991 with eight horses, a bucketful of dreams and an unshakeable belief that he would be successful.

Paul Nicholls and Paul Barber
Paul with landlord and friend, Paul Barber, on the schooling ground

No one at the time could possibly have predicted that he would dominate the sport in the years ahead though was a clue in his first interview with Paul Barber, his future landlord when they met.

Barber recalls: “Paul was easily the outstanding candidate from the dozen or so people who applied to rent the yard. The minute we began talking I could see he was mad keen to get started, totally positive and focused.”

Fast forward a quarter of a century and Nicholls has now been champion trainer for 10 of the past 11 seasons.

He has trained upwards of 2,600 winners, 111 of them at Grade 1 level, and has won many of the races that matter most in the racing calendar including four Gold Cups, a Grand National, and the astonishing tally of nine King George VI. He has maintained a strike rate of 20 per cent or more for each of the past 21 years and passed the £2 million mark in prize money for the 14th consecutive season.

Yet statistics alone tell only half the story. What they cannot fully show is his God given talent, his boundless enthusiasm every day he steps into the yard and his uncanny skill at keeping the same horses in a rich vein of form year on year. No one does it better.

Then there is his almost tangible will to win which encourages those who work with him to strive for success every bit as hard as he does.

That was never more evident than in April, 2016 when the game looked all over for Nicholls after his great rival Willie Mullins established a huge lead in their enthralling duel for the trainers’ title.

HIs heart must have been in his boots after he drew a rare blank at the Grand National meeting at Aintree where Mullins carried all before him. But that didn’t stop him trying to close the gap and on an unforgettable day at Ayr on April 16, Nicholls struck back with four winners including Vicente in the Scottish Grand National.

After replying to an advert placed in the Sporting Life by Somerset-based dairy farmer and cheesemaker Paul Barber in June 1991, Paul received his Trainer’s License on 1 November 1991 and took over the running of Manor Farm Stables at Ditcheat for his new Landlord.

Suddenly the battle for the title was far from over and when Nicholls enjoyed another four timer at Wincanton the next afternoon it was clear it would not be decided until the final day of the campaign at Sandown.

Flagship Uberalles
Flagship Uberalles winning the 1999 Arkle with Joe Tizzard

The early success of Ptit Zig from his stable companion Silsol gave him a narrow advantage and though he was initially dismayed to see Just A Par overtaken near the line in his bid to win the bet365 Chase for the second time, his disappointment quickly turned to unbridled joy when people began rushing up to congratulate him on retaining his title.

Paul Nicholls first public reaction was to emphasise that this latest success was entirely down to Team Ditcheat. But he is the driver and given that Willie Mullins delivered 14 Grade 1 winners to his two, Nicholls is surely entitled to believe that his 10th championship was his finest hour.

Now, of course, he has to do it all again. The early signs are encouraging with Nicholls back on top of the table early in October after a faster than usual start in the summer and a lucrative autumn.

Restlessly energetic he has brought in many fresh recruits this season and improved the already impressive facilities at Ditcheat with the addition of a deep, round sand surface for slow work inside the loop on the flat gallop.

Rust never sleeps and neither, it seems, does Paul Nicholls.

  • wilderspin_promo