For Paul Nicholls, it looks likes the good old days are returning with a leading contender for the Magners Gold Cup in the shape of Clan Des Obeaux and a battalion of Cheltenham hopefuls that would be the envy of most trainers.
The Ditcheat trainer took his first Gold Cup in 1999 with See More Business and Kauto Star (2007 and 2009) and Denman (2008) have ensured that Jewel in the Cheltenham crown has been celebrated in style in the local Manor House Inn.
Nicholls, champion trainer at the meeting for four times in succession from 2006 to 2009, notched up a double with Pacha Du Polder and Le Prezien which took his total to 43 winners at the Festival and that pair once, again, look likely to be on duty.
The tough as teak Frodon and Topofthegame look sure to make their presence felt in their chasing engagement and Magic Saint looks a very live one for the Grand Annual too.
The novice hurdle and juvenile division from Ditcheat looks strong with Quel Destin, Pic D’Orchy, Grand Sancy and Friend Or Foe throwing their hats into the ring.
Nicholls said: “It is great to have horse that that is a live Gold Cup hope in the shape of Clan Des Obeaux and it is a race that obviously everyone wants to win and has been kind to us in the past. We are very excited about the team we are taking to the Festival and let’s hope we can improve our record at the meeting.”
Nicholls kindly spoke to Tony Elves of attheraces.com about his hopes for the highlight of the Jumps season.