Paul Nicholls

We profile the master of Ditcheat

Paul Nicholls

He's struggled a bit in recent years but bounced back in 2015 with a Thursday treble

Watch out for his County Hurdle runners on the last day

Paul Nicholls

Cheltenham Festival wins: 37

The Ditcheat handler won the Leading Trainer Award six times between 1999-2009 but Nicholls was in need of a boost last March having notched up just one winner at the 2013 and 2014 Festivals.

A day three treble thanks to Dodging Bullets, Aux Ptits Soins and Qualando ended that run but like Willie Mullins, his runners have struggled in the handicap chases. (Record reads 0-23 in the Plate, 0-17 in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase and 0-18 in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase).

Best known for his high-profile chasing successes, not least for training five Champion Chase and four Gold Cup winners, it has been with his handicap hurdlers where he has enjoyed most of his recent Festival successes with six winners since 2009. Take note of his County Hurdle runners on the last day – four winners and two runners-up –but with more luck could easily have trained six of the last 12 winners.

His record in the Fred Winter also catches the eye with two winners and five placed-horses with French-breds including Qualando who led home a 1-2-5 for the stable’s three runners last season. Lookout for Frodon.