Ruby Walsh: More to come from Paul Nicholls after stellar weekend

Paul Nicholls saddled eight winners at Chepstow - the official start of the jumps season proper in the UK.

Paul Nicholls

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Ruby Walsh has warned there is plenty more to come from Paul Nicholls’ horses this season after the UK-based trainer celebrated eight winners across a two-day meeting at Chepstow last weekend.

The 58-year-old is looking to regain the trainers’ championship from Nicky Henderson this season and kick-started his campaign with a dominant display in Wales on Friday and Saturday, while he also oversaw two more victories at Newton Abbot on Sunday.

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Harry Cobden rode seven of Nicholl’s winners at Chepstow, including Hell Red in the Juvenile Hurdle and McFabulous in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle, and Ruby believes that partnership will go from strength-to-strength this season.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby revealed how Nicholls always targeted the Chepstow meet and often recalled our resident jockey from his holidays in order to race there during his career.

Ruby: Last weekend’s meeting at Chepstow was traditionally the starting point for Paul, and it would always have been when I was required to go back to the UK.

And his horses will improve for having the run there. They won’t be at 100 per cent and he will have left a bit to work on but this will have been a starting point for him.

The horses you saw running at the weekend – the likes of McFabulous and Hell Red in the Juvenile Hurdle – they would be horses he is aiming at the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham in November.

He’s getting them out early now and will be having another run in November, hoping to get three runs into those horses before Christmas.

Harry Cobden Paul Nicholls Newton Abbot

Our main man Paddy Power was particularly impressed with McFabulous’ three-length win over Courtandbould, and feels Nicholls is one of the best trainers around for getting a fast start to the season.

Paddy: Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls had a fine two days at Chepstow, and watching back the win for McFabulous – it was really impressive.

It’s obviously too early in the season to single the really good ones out, but that looked very impressive.

Paul Nicholls often hits the ground running. Ruby said on the podcast last week that Nigel Twiston-Davies always has his horses fit, ready and forward but Paul Nicholls has been working hard during the summer as well.

To have that many winners in a weekend, it must be such a relaxer as a trainer. Even for a big operation like that, just to know that everything is still working, ticking along nicely and you can still bang in the winners…

It’s going to be a good competitive Jumps season because you’ve got a lot of big powerful yards, more so than on the Flat. Tizzard, Nicholls, Skelton and then obviously Nicky Henderson. It’s going to be a really good season and I’m looking forward to it.

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