To say that champion horse trainer Paul Nicholls enjoys the big occasions is like saying that the iGaming industry enjoys an alcohol-filled gaming conference party.
After his supreme week at Cheltenham last month he’s come to the scene of Saturday’s Grand National, Aintree, with every chance of carrying on his remarkable run of form.
Together with jockey Ruby Walsh, Nicholls trained the first two winners of the three day long meeting, one of which came off putting the bookies to the sword at last month’s festival.
The hook-up between Nicholls, Walsh and horse Big Buck’s caused Betfred to pay out as much as £600,000 for the horse’s victory in the World Hurdle on St Patrick’s Day, with StanJames similarly pounded into the dirt.
They must have feared the worst when they saw the three of them laughing and jesting in the paddock. They couldn’t do it again…they bloody could!
Big Buck’s ran out winner by five lengths from Grands Crus and moved Victor Chandler to install the horse as favorite for next year’s Cheltenham World Hurdle. The three-time winner is 11/10 to repeat the feat and go down in Cheltenham folklore.
Nicholls and Walsh didn’t stop there.
The second race of the day gave them their second victory, albeit a narrow one, with favorite Zarkandar taking it by one and half-lengths. It again showed that the natural born winner Walsh, and trainer Nicholls are definitely the two to beat at this year’s festival.
Walsh is also riding the current favorite in the big race on Saturday, as The Midnight Club can be found at 8/1 with bet365, as the Irishman looks to add to his two wins in past running’s of the National.