Nicholls downsizes Cheltenham Festival squad with Irish set to make hay

  • Champion trainer will have smallest team since 2005
  • Horses switched to Aintree and Ayr to avoid Irish raiders

Paul Nicholls is odds-on to win the British trainers’ title this season for the 13th time and the reigning champion paraded several interesting contenders for the Cheltenham Festival here on Thursday, but the extent to which British yards are currently struggling to match their Irish counterparts was also underlined a few minutes later, when Nicholls suggested that he will have “between 12 and 14 runners” during the four-day meeting later this month.

Even 14 runners would constitute Nicholls’s smallest Festival team since the fourth day was added in 2005, and he currently has only two entries – Bravemansgame and Stage Star – quoted at single-figure odds. Willie Mullins, by contrast, saddled at least a dozen runners on every day of the 2021 Festival, including 18 on the final afternoon alone, and will expect to return with similar number this year.

Continue reading…Champion trainer will have smallest team since 2005Horses switched to Aintree and Ayr to avoid Irish raidersPaul Nicholls is odds-on to win the British trainers’ title this season for the 13th time and the reigning champion paraded several interesting contenders for the Cheltenham Festival here on Thursday, but the extent to which British yards are currently struggling to match their Irish counterparts was also underlined a few minutes later, when Nicholls suggested that he will have “between 12 and 14 runners” during the four-day meeting later this month.Even 14 runners would constitute Nicholls’s smallest Festival team since the fourth day was added in 2005, and he currently has only two entries – Bravemansgame and Stage Star – quoted at single-figure odds. Willie Mullins, by contrast, saddled at least a dozen runners on every day of the 2021 Festival, including 18 on the final afternoon alone, and will expect to return with similar number this year. Continue reading…[#item_full_content]

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