Paul Nicholls: Fortunate to be doing what we love *H&H VIP*

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  • Being involved in this week’s H&H National Hunt special (out today, 5 November) has been an interesting experience and made a change from the day job. I hope you all enjoy the features we’ve done for you, and that you might pick up some tips for the year ahead.

    The 2015/16 season is picking up speed now, and here at Ditcheat we’re really looking forward to it. We’ve had a good start so far, with the best strike rate in October that we’ve ever had.

    We have about 30 new horses in training this season, a couple of which have already won, and it’s a really exciting time of year watching the babies start off.

    We also have the established raiders including last year’s Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets and Silviniaco Conti, who we’ll be aiming at the King George. If he wins it will be his third victory in the race and my 10th, which I’d love to do.

    I’m also really excited about H&H’s cover star this week, Saphir Du Rheu (pictured, centre), he’s a great chasing prospect and you can learn more about him in the issue.

    This is of course the first season in 20 years without AP McCoy riding. The fans will miss him I’m sure, but it also opens things up and makes it a bit more interesting.

    Here at Ditcheat we have the best team of jockeys we’ve ever hadNick Scholfield, Sean Bowen, Harry Cobden all headed up by Sam Twiston-Davies.

    Sam will ride plenty of winners I’m sure, but not nearly the number Richard Johnson will if he stays injury free. He’s hugely popular and we’d all love to see him take the championship title after being runner up to AP 16 times.

    Obviously it would be fantastic to win the trainer’s championship title again — a 10th — but most of all I enjoy seeing a lovely string in the morning. Racing is a hobby and a business and we’re fortunate to be doing what we love.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 5 November 2015