Saturday 27 May 2017

Cheltenham Festival legend Paul Nicholls hoping for first flat winner after 26 years

Four time Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer Paul Nicholls could finally gain his first flat winner after 26 years of trying.

Nicholls has grabbed 113 Grade One prizes but remarkably has never enjoyed a success on the flat since starting training in 1991.

The man famed for the likes of Kauto Star, sends High Secret to Goodwood and Volpone Jelois to Salisbury.

High Secret finished fourth in Aintree’s Top Novice Hurdle before a disappointing run in the Swinton last time out.

High Secret on the far right finishing fourth at Aintree's Grand National festival.

“High Secret is dipping his toe in the water really, ” said Nicholls. 

“He hasn’t ran on the flat in a while, so we don’t really know what to expect from him.

“He ran some good races there before, and did well over hurdles too. It’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.”

Volpone Jelois may have the stronger chance of the two, the four-year-old enjoyed plenty of success on the flat in France with former trainer Simone Brogi.

“He should have a good chance for us down at Sailsbury,” said the Ditcheat maestro.

“He ran a good race for us up at Doncaster recently, and hopefully he can improve from that effort. 

He should go tidy, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Nicholls has only sent out 14 runners to run on the flat in the last five years.

In 2014 Amanto came closest when losing out by a neck to Lil Rockerfeller, who has since gone on to compete in Grade One hurdle contests.

Sisol was a runner-up on the all-weather in the same year.

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