Paul Nicholls (horse racing)

Paul Nicholls (Horse Racing)

Paul Nicholls (horse racing)

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Paul Nicholls (born 17 April 1962) is a British National Hunt horse trainer with stables at Ditcheat, Somerset. A relatively successful jump jockey, Nicholls has become the leading National Hunt trainer of his generation, finishing the 2007-2008 season with 155 winners and a record £4 million in prize money. To date, he has trained over 1500 winners, won four Cheltenham Gold Cups and has been crowned British jump racing Champion Trainer four times.

Early career

The son of a policeman, Nicholls was educated at Marlwood School, Alveston before leaving at 16 to take up work in a local point-to-point yard. He turned conditional in 1982 under the tutelage of Josh Gifford before joining David Barons as stable jockey in 1984. It was with Barons that Nicholls was most closely associated during his riding career. The pair enjoyed numerous big race successes, including back-to-back wins in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury with Broadheath in 1986 and Playschool the following year. Playschool was subsequently made favourite for the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup but was pulled up before the 20th fence. Barons attributed Playschool's lacklustre performance to doping but his claims were never substantiated. Following an injury sustained in 1989, Nicholls retired from the saddle having ridden a respectable 133 winners during a seven year career.


Nicholls took out his trainers' licence in 1991, having served a two year apprenticeship as assistant trainer to Barons. In response...
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