Nicholls or Nicky? National Hunt trainers' title betting
William Hill have priced up the National Hunt Trainers' Championship 2011/12, installing Ditcheat handler Paul Nicholls as 4-6 favourite to take coveted title.
In past seasons, Nicholls has been installed at as short as 4-9 for the honours, however it seems the gap between himself and Nicky Henderson is indeed narrowing, with his Seven Barrows adversary now 5-4 second-favourite (Henderson 2-1 when betting opened last year).
The old guard of Kauto Star and Denman must pass the reigns to future stars of Zarkandar and Al Ferof, alongside stable stalwarts Big Buck's and Master Minded, with the hope of retaining the title for a seventh time.
Spearheading a powerful Seven Barrows team is Long Run, whose first main target will be a second successive William Hill King George VI Chase, for which he is priced at 6-4 with the sponsors. Long Run is 11-2 to emulate his historic feat of last season and add the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup to more Kempton glory.
Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill, said ‘Last season Nicky Henderson got dangerously close to breaking the Nicholls stranglehold, and this time Kauto Star and Denman, who have for many seasons bolstered the coffers, must now pass the mantle to their younger counterparts to fly the flag for team Ditcheat'
Philip Hobbs has been installed at 7-1 third-favourite for the Trainers Championship, with both Captain Chris and Wishfull Thinking possibilities for the William Hill King George VI Chase.
National Hunt Trainers' Championship 2011/12: 4-6 Paul Nicholls, 5-4 Nicky Henderson, 7-1 Philip Hobbs (others on request)
William Hill King George VI Chase: 6-4 Long Run, 4-1 Master Minded, 7-1 Captain Chris, 10-1 Wishfull Thinking (EW ¼ 1,2,3)
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2012: 5-2 Long Run, 14-1 Captain Chris, Denman, Master Minded, Wishfull Thinking, 16-1 Diamond Harry, Riverside Theatre, Time For Rupert, 20-1 Burton Port, Amnesty, 25-1 Bostons Angel, Mon Parrain, Noble Prince, Pandorama, 33-1 Jessies Dream, Kempes, Quito De La Roque, Wayward Prince, What A Friend, (EW ¼ 1,2,3)
William Hill King George VI Chase & Cheltenham Gold Cup 2012 double: 11-2 Long Run