Nine times champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls is based in Ditcheat, Somserset, where he has around 120 horses at his yard.
Grand Nationalwinner Neptune Collonges with jockey Daryl Jacobs and trainer Paul Nicholls
Before turning his hand to training in 1991 Paul was a successful jump jockey, winning the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury twice — with Broadheath in 1986 and Playschool the following year. In total he won 119 races as a rider.
He was assistant trainer for David Baron for two years before setting up on his own. Paul started out with eight horses at Manor Farm Stables, and now has around 80 there, with a further 40 at his Highbridge yard.
His most famous horses include record breaker Kauto Star, Gold Cup winner Denman, Grand National winner Neptune Collonges, Gold Cup winner See More Business, Champion Chaser Master Minded and four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s.
In 2008 he trained the one-two-three in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Denman coming home ahead of Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges. “Nothing compares to being in the winner’s enclosure that day,” he says.