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

2020

2016-17

171 Winners

£2,529,250 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Irving wins Fighting Fifth Hurdle

San Benedeto wins Maghull Novices' Chase

Vicente wins a 2nd Scottish Grand National

2020

2017-18

127 Winners

£2,513,233 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Politologue wins Tingle Creek Chase

Diego Du Charmil wins Maghull Novices' Chase

Black Corton wins Kauto Star Novices' Chase

2020

2018-19

135 Winners

£3,307,172 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Clan Des Obeaux wins King George VI Chase

Frodon wins Ryanair Chase

Cyrname wins Ascot Chase

2020

2019-20

96 Winners

£2,341,313 in total prize money

HIGHLIGHTS

Clan Des Obeaux wins King George VI Chase

Politologue wins Champion Chase

Truckers Lodge wins Midlands National

PAUL NICHOLLS

Racehorse Trainer

Paul Nicholls has never known anything like it and neither has anyone else. When the 2019-2020 season was brought to an abrupt end in March by the Coronavirus, he, like everyone else explained the difficulty he found in adjusting to the new ‘norm’ of life on lock down and managing his huge operation under very different circumstances to usual.

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

A campaign that promised a thrilling climax at Aintree, Cheltenham, Ayr and Sandown was abandoned prematurely just as he was marshalling his in form troops for a late flourish that he was optimistic would end in him once again competing to add to his already incredible eleven trainer’s titles.

Suddenly horse racing, like all sports, was an irrelevance as the government introduced emergency powers to tackle the pandemic.

Nicholls’ immediate concern was for his hard working team of 55 staff along with the horses in their care and he was determined to keep things ticking over in a familiar routine until they could be turned out to grass at the end of April.

Planning ahead with meticulous attention to detail has always been one of his greatest assets and with jump racing at a standstill at least until July 1 he began assessing the prospects for Team Ditcheat once the core season gets under way early in October.

A glance at past results suggest he has good reason to anticipate another rewarding season when things finally return to normal. The statistics are compelling.

Paul Nicholls has been champion trainer eleven times, has trained upwards of 3,100 winners, 125 of them at Grade 1 level, and has won many of the races that matter most in the calendar including four Gold Cups, a Grand National, ten Tingle Creeks and the King George V1 Chase an astonishing eleven times.

He has maintained a strike rate of 20% or more for the past 25 years and passed the £2 million mark in prize money for the 18th consecutive time in March.

Early in October Nicholls will celebrate his 29th year as a racehorse trainer at Ditcheat. He began in racing as an eager rider in point-to-points, before progressing to ride over 100 winners over jumps in a career limited by a constant battle with the scales.

The lure of training was irresistible, and destiny called when he replied to an advertisement placed in the Sporting Life by Paul Barber, farmer, businessman and notably enthusiastic supporter of National Hunt Racing.

It was in October 1991, that Nicholls arrived at Manor Farm Stables with eight horses, a bucketful of dreams and an unshakeable belief that he would be successful.

Yet no-one at the time could possibly have predicted that he would dominate the sport in the years ahead though there was a clue when he met his future landlord for the first time.

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.”

Paul with Harry Derham, Clifford Baker & Harry Cobden
Paul with Harry Derham, Clifford Baker & Harry Cobden

Fast forward to 2020 and Nicholls has dominated his sport for much of the past twenty years. 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 Nicholls delivered a conveyor belt of winners in the final weeks of the season to retain his title just as it seemed the crown was about to on its way to Willie Mullins in Ireland.

Nicholls’ immediate reaction on the final day of the season was to emphasise that this 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.

More recently Nicky Henderson has proved to be a formidable rival and it was entirely fitting that both men were awarded the OBE last year for their services to racing.

Paul Nicholls has enjoyed so many highlights in a glittering career and you could almost reach out and touch the pride on his face as he played host to the Queen during a visit that brought Ditcheat to a halt late in March 2019.

She chatted to his family, key members of the team and Paul and Marianne Barber and clearly enjoyed inspecting at close quarters some of his stable stars that helped deliver his eleventh trainers’ championship.

More recently a frustrating conclusion to the 2019-2020 season left him wondering what might have been.

He explains “Nicky held a lead of £190,000 when racing came to a halt, but our horses were in excellent form at the time and we had saved a lot of ammunition for the closing weeks of the campaign. It was all to play for and may have gone down to the last day which would have been great for racing.

“It was a disappointing way for things to finish but there is a much bigger picture out there with so many people’s lives turned upside down by the coronavirus, congratulations to Nicky and his team however for another excellent campaign, I thoroughly look forward to competing with him once against next season”.

Restlessly energetic, he is already focusing on the challenges ahead, plotting and planning for the future, seeking to enhance his excellent facilities and enthusing about the prospects of his latest group of young horses coming through the system.

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

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