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Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Former Champion Trainer guides readers through his yard for 2020/21

  • We take a look through the recent stable tour AtTheRaces conducted with Paul Nicholls
  • Nicholls will be trying to win the British Champion Trainer title for the 11th time in 2021
  • The master of Ditcheat discusses plans for stable stars like Clan Des Obeaux, Cyrname and Topofthegame
paul nicholls
Trainer Paul Nicholls poses with Clan Des Obeaux at Manor Farm Stables.

We take a look through the recent stable tour that Paul Nicholls conducted with AtTheRaces and bring you the key quotes on his stable stars at Ditcheat.

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Stable Stars

Clan Des Obeaux

"He is going to start in the Betfair Chase a Haydock, but the ultimate aiming is obviously the King George VI Chase at Kempton. He will be trying to win it for the third time, and he is still only eight-years-old. He seems very, very well and looks great and we will have him in great shape for the Betfair Chase. He could end up at Punchestown in the spring this season as a right-handed track suits him well."


"He was definitely only at his best once last year at Ascot and he seems in very good form this year. All being well he will start in the Grade 1 JN Wine Chase at Down Royal on October 31. That gives us a month extra before the King George and Down Royal will tell us if he stays three miles and we can make a plan from there."


"He won the Silvinianco Conte at Kempton last year and wasn’t quite good enough at Cheltenham in a very competitive Ryanair Chase. He will probably start in the Charlie Hall and he seems in good nick this year. An easy three miles around Wetherby might suit him well and he schooled well last week."


"He is obviously a Champion Chase winner and I think we are not going to race him much this year. He will probably run in the Tingle Creek at Sandown and go there really fresh and then all roads will lead to Cheltenham. When he is on song is a very good horse and he is a fabulous jumper. His jumping has been a hallmark of his career and he has done very well during the summer."


"He missed last year with a tendon injury but, touch wood, everything seems fine this season. He will be started off in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and then, hopefully, he will tell us if he is a Gold Cup horse or not. That would be the dream and the long-term aim. I guess his season will be planned after the Ladbrokes Trophy. He has gone very well fresh in the past and Paul believes he can get them right for that race."

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

paul nicholls
Paul Nicholls (centre) and his team celebrating Polotologue's Champion Chase win in 2020. (Getty)

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Novice Hurdlers


"He ran in a couple of bumpers last year and ran ok. I think he is a smart horse and he jumps really nicely. He might start at Chepstow on Friday and whatever he does there he will improve for it and he wants two and a half miles. He is ultimately going to be a really smart chaser one day."

Danny Kirwan

"He is a horse who has not quite reached his full potential, but I think that chasing will bring the best in him. We will probably run in a maiden hurdle first but at some stage he will go chasing."

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Hurdlers


"He won the rearranged EBF Final at Kempton last year and he will start in the Persian War at Chepstow on Friday. We think he is a smart horse and if Chepstow goes to plan then we will probably try him in a good staying hurdle and at then at some stage, he will jump fences. That may be next season, but it depends how it goes over hurdles. I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet and we would like to see him make up into a top staying hurdler."


"He won the Adonis last season and he will have a quiet year this season and will probably stay over hurdles with a view to going chasing next year. He is a smart horse. I’ve no doubt about that and he didn’t come down the hill at the Cheltenham Festival well at all. He has been gelded since and he might start at Auteuil in the valuable Grade 1 Prix Renaud du Vivier on November 8. I can’t wait for this time next year when we go chasing with him."

Silver Forever

"She did well last year winning three and including a nice race at Sandown. She stayed on well up the hill that day but picked up a slight injury. She has schooled well over fences and jumped brilliantly. Whether she starts over fences or hurdles I don’t know but at some stage she will end up over fences and is a very talented horse. She is tough and has a bit of class and she could go to the top."

Southfield Harvest

"He won his maiden hurdle at Ludlow in February and he is rated 127. He would probably go to Cheltenham in a three-mile novice hurdle in October and I think he is going to be a high-class chaser. He is a good staying horse and we haven’t seen the best of him yet."

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

McFabulous could be aimed at the Stayers' Hurdle in 2021. (Getty)

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Novice Chasers

Ask For Glory

"He won his novices’ hurdle at Wincanton in the spring and he beat nothing but absolutely hacked up. He will probably run in a nice handicap hurdle or a novice hurdle before we go chasing with him. He isn’t the easiest to train but he is a high-class horse."


"He might run at Chepstow on Friday. He won the Winter Novices' Hurdle at Sandown in December and is a real good staying horse. My belief is that he will be a stone better horse over fences as he is such a good jumper and he is lightly raced. I would like to think there are plenty of big days in him."

Fidelio Vallis

"He won two novices’ hurdles last season and will start at Kempton in a listed novices’ hurdle in a couple of weeks’ time. We didn’t see the best of him last season and I think he will be a really smart novice chaser when that happens. He is a tough hardy animal and his performance at Kempton will tell us whether we stay over hurdles this season or go novice chasing with him."

Next Destination

"He was a very good horse for Willie Mullins a couple of years ago but has had a lot of time off. Touch wood he seems to be ok at the moment and hopefully if we can get him to the track, he retains a lot of ability. Will go novice chasing."

Pic D'Orhy

"He won the Betfair Hurdle last season and we always thought of him as a chasing horse. He is a big horse now and Paul has been very patient with him. He will go chasing now and we will probably start him somewhere like Market Rasen in a couple of weeks’ time and let him tell us where he goes next. There’s no doubt he’s a high-class horse and if he takes to chasing, he could be very exciting. He has always been a little bit ignorant over hurdles, but he jumps fences fine and he may respect them a bit more." 

Quel Destin

"He has done really well for us and is a classy rock-solid horse. He will go novice chasing this season and could have a spin on the Flat before he does. If he improves a fraction over fences, then he will be right up there in the novice division."

Stormy Ireland

"She finished fifth in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and she might go novice chasing. If she takes to novice chasing, she could be a very exciting mare – she is not overbig but has schooled well – and she has a big engine."

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Chasers

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Diego Du Charmil

"He has been a great horse for us over the years and there is a listed two-mile hurdle coming up shortly at Kempton. He always runs high-class races and I would imagine he will mix it between hurdling and chasing but is a horse to follow."

Duc Des Genievres

"He was an Arkle winner for Willie Mullins and he finished second in Desert Orchid Chase last year. He has had a breathing operation and he will probably go to the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November. He is a good solid horse if we can get him anywhere near his best."


"He is lightly-raced, and things didn’t go quite right for him last year and he didn’t get to the track. I believe there is a big race in him and where that will be, I don’t know but he is one to keep the right side of. He is a good solid staying horse and he would be well up to winning a big Saturday handicap chase."

Laurina is one of a number of horses who've been moved from Willie Mullins' yard to Ditcheat for 2021, along with Real Steel, Duc Des Genievres and Next Destination. (Getty)


"She had problems bleeding last season with Willie and it a matter of getting her anywhere near her best. She has fitted into the yard very well and seems fine at the moment. She schooled last week, and she could start in the Grade 2 Ascot Hurdle at Ascot on November 21."

Master Tommytucker

"He has a bit of a problem standing up at times but when he does, he’s very good horse. He has had a breathing operation this summer and Paul was wondering if his breathing was just catching him out and he was making mistakes as a result of that. If that works, I have no doubt he is a very good horse as he travels brilliantly and gallops them into the ground, he just needs to get his act together jumping. He has jumped well at home and hopefully everything comes right for him. He is going to start in an Intermediate Chase at Newton Abbot on Sunday with the view to going to Down Royal for a Grade 2 second season chaser race over two and a half miles. If he jumps, he could well be a Grade 1 horse as he’s a serious animal."

Real Steel 

"He ran in the Gold Cup and he could start in the 2m 5f Chase at Ascot that Cyrname won last year. He is obviously a high-class horse so we are looking forward to getting him started."

Saint Sonnet

"His big early season target is the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November. He ran a really good race in the Marsh at Cheltenham, and we hadn’t had him long and he only had one race at Catterick before the Festival. He has done well for a summer break and I would like to think he would go well in the Paddy Power Gold Cup."

Truckers Lodge

"He was the runaway Midlands National winner and we might go to Kelso in a months’ time for a three and three quarter miles limited handicap chase. He long-term aim, I would imagine, would be the Grand National. He is a real good staying horse and the ground wouldn’t never be soft enough for him. He will probably go for the Welsh National on the way to Aintree."

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Juveniles

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Hell Red

"He runs at Chepstow on Saturday and he finished second for Guillame Macaire in a hurdle at Auteuil in March. He does everything right is a very straightforward jumping horse who should do well this season."


"He is a three-year-old who actually beat Hell Red in a hurdle race at Auteuil in the spring. He will probably start in a Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham at the November meeting and he is a lovely chaser the future."

Paul Nicholls Stable Tour - Bumper Horses

Gala De Corton

"He was bought as a store at the Goffs Land Rover Sale in Ireland last summer and is a half-brother to Black Corton. He goes nicely and I would like to think he can win a couple of bumpers this season before going novice hurdling next season."

Knappers Hill

"He was entered on Saturday and could run at Chepstow. He is a Valiran gelding and a lovely four-year-old who could go really nicely."

*All quotes taken from AtTheRaces*

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