PFN prepares for Prestbury offensive
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Today Britain's racing press made their annual pilgrimage to the home of National Hunt Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls for a pre-Cheltenham preview of his hottest hopes for Festival glory.
It was not only Industry names who flocked from far and wide but members of National media could be sighted too, all awaiting their yearly glimpse of much-loved champions such as Kauto Star, Denman and Master Minded; and to get a chance to catch the new generation of hopefuls including Rock On Ruby, Ghizao and Al Ferof. With less than a month to go, the whole team are readying themselves to fly the Manor Farm flag over Prestbury Park.
Having secured the trainers' crown an impressive five seasons in a row, Paul Nicholls' Festival record is growing rapidly and the Ditcheat handler continues to make swift inroads on Festival winning-most trainer Nicky Henderson.
William Hill have priced up a variety of specials, favouring Nicholls to train more winners than his Lambourn rival (5-6), and offering 6-4 he will have three to five Festival victories this year.
Paul Nicholls boasts a great recent record in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, and with Woolcombe Folly an exciting new recruit to the two-mile chasing division to aid the rejuvenated Master Minded, William Hill offer 6-5 that Wednesday's showpiece event will head back to Ditcheat.
The firm also go 15-2 for Nicholls to triumph in both the Championship Chasing events - the Gold Cup and Champion Chase.
Lucy Rhodes, spokeswoman for William Hill, said ‘Team Nicholls should not be underestimated just because the two big guns Kauto and Denman are advancing in years. The Champion Trainer has an array of exciting youngsters just itching to take their chance and compete at the highest level.'
PAUL NICHOLLS SPECIALS
To train the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner: 11-4
To train the Champion Chase winner: 6-5
Nicholls Gold Cup & Champion Chase double: 15-2
Number of Cheltenham Festival Winners: Over five 6-4, three to five 6-4, under three 2-1
World Hurdle Match Bet: 1-2 Big Buck's, 6-4 Grands Crus
Who will train the most Cheltenham Festival winners?: 5-6 Paul Nicholls, 13-8 Nicky Henderson, 9-2 Tie (win only, excludes Derby Charity Race)
National Hunt Trainers' Championship: 1-2 Paul Nicholls, 6-4 Nicky Henderson