Paul Nicholls was champion trainer once again last season but he has always been ambitious and is unlikely to rest on his laurels. His stable tour came out in the Racing Post this week and he has highlighted five horses who he believes have star quality. These five horses should be winning plenty of races between them this season and will undoubtedly be ones to watch. You can check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
This horse is a King George winner and he ran a cracker to finish second to Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup back in March. Nicholls said: “His two big targets once again are the King George and the Gold Cup and after Christmas. We’ve got seven lengths to make up on Galopin Des Champs, but there wasn’t much between them at Punchestown, and we might ride ours differently at Cheltenham and take our time with him a bit more. I’d relish the rematch come March.”
A winner of his sole start over hurdles, there could be plenty more to come from the Champion Bumper third. His trainer said: “He’s a gorgeous horse and a lovely prospect for novice hurdles this season and novice chases the next. We took a bit of a gamble letting him make his hurdling debut in the Grade 2 Persian War, but we had him ready and he won it nicely; his jumping will sharpen up considerably for the experience.”
Knappers Hill has some useful form over hurdles and is set to make the switch to fences this season. Nicholls said: “I know he got beat on his chase debut but I was thrilled with him. What particularly impressed me was the way he jumped his fences; he was a slow learner over hurdles in his early days, but you couldn’t fault him at Chepstow. We’ll now go for the Grade 2 Rising Stars at Wincanton on Saturday with high hopes.”
A quirky yet very talented character, he and stable jockey Harry Cobden seem to be a perfect match. The trainer said: I’m thrilled with him physically and he looks a monster of a horse this season. He’s so tough and genuine you can’t help loving him, and I was so pleased for the horse he had his breakthrough Grade 1 moment in the Melling Chase last spring. He’ll now start off at Ascot over 2m5f on November 25 in the 1965 Chase.”
This horse was progressive at the end of last season and appears to be on the same trajectory at the start of this one. His trainer said: “Rubaud was very impressive at Kempton last month, confirming my suspicion he’s stepped forward again since last season. He faced a stiff task in that Listed event, but he saw them off with ease. We’ll go to Wincanton on Saturday for the Elite.”
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.