Printer Friendly

Horse Power: The Rebel rouser; Nicholls plans blinkers tactic.

Byline: MIKE TORPEY

LEADING trainer Paul Nicholls is set to play a 'blinder' in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Next week the West Country handler will attach blinkers to Cornish Rebel in advance of repeating a tactic that has paid off handsomely in the past.

Nicholls has decided to try the headgear in exercise to see whether it produces a change of performance from the talented but sometimes quirky nine-year-old.

It was back in 1999 that See More Business won the Gold Cup, also wearing blinkers in a race for the first time.

But the Ditcheat trainer warned he is far from convinced they will make a difference on the full-brother to Best Mate.

"He has got the form to run very well in the race and he is fresh and well, having had a break since he ran at Chepstow," said Nicholls.

"People keep asking me when we are going to try him in blinkers and the answer is that we will have a go next week.

"I am not sure he has got the temperament for them myself. In fact when he ran at Newbury in the Hennessy, he got so worked up before the race that Ruby Walsh said he was glad he hadn't been wearing them.

"It might not be the right thing to do but we'll try and find out.

"I remember when we ran See More Business in the race and the owners didn't want us to try him in blinkers. But secretly our head groom Cliff Bake and I put them on and he went so well we had to come clean and tell them to run him wearing them. They transformed the horse.

"You soon get an idea about whether it's going to be helpful or not and we will try, but personally I am not convinced."

Cornish Rebel, along with stablemate Royal Auclair, are both on course to run in the Gold Cup as part of a Cheltenham Festival team of "about 20ish" from the yard.

Nicholls will be hoping to repeat another of his 1999 achievements when Kauto Star, the favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, lines up on the second day of the meeting.

The trainer drew parallels between the six-year-old and Call Equiname, who won the race for the stable seven years ago.

"People will point to his inexperience but it is his fifth start as a chaser and it was Call Equiname's fifth start when he won," said Nicholls.

Among the many other runners Nicholls plans to have at the Festival, he nominates Andreas as his best bet in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase, while Blue Business also gets a favourable mention as 'best outsider' for the four-mile National Hunt Chase.

CAPTION(S):

PLAYING A BLINDER: Cornish Rebel is to wear blinkers as Paul Nicholls continues his Cheltenham Gold Cup preparations
COPYRIGHT 2006 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2006
Words:474
Previous Article:Horse Power: Tips.
Next Article:Horse Power: Watch out for . . .
Topics:


Related Articles
Top French chaser joins Nicholls for next season.
Racing: PAUL IN VERY GOOD NIC; Nicholls saddles first three home in Welsh National.
Other: L'Aventure wins in Welsh National; Nicholls has first three at Chepstow RACING.
Cornish Rebel set for Gold Cup bid in blinkers.
Kelly eyeing charity Gold with Rebel.
Nicholls putting the win in Wincanton.
Racing: NIC'S BLIND FAITH; Ditcheat maestro tries to work the oracle on Rebel.
Ruby's going for Gold on his Grand National hero.
I fear Hedgehunter.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters