The sucess of Paul Nicholls

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This topic contains 32 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  mdwillis 10 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #7427

    mdwillis
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    Now the the end of the jumps season is nearly upon us. It is really staggering about the achivements of Paul Nicholls this season to win more than £3million in prize money which is amazing for NH racing and also to train the first 3 home in jumps racings premier steeplechase. What I want to know is what is he doing right that other trainers are doing wrong? He must have a the right formula to become champion trainer by a country mile. He must be doing something right. I am really suprised that some sections of the racing press dont give him the credit. If Aidan O’Brien trained the first 3 home in this years Derby everyone would hail him a genius. But I have heard of no journalist hail Paul Nicholls in the same breathe as Aidan O’Brien even though he won more prize money than him in the UK.

    #157087

    Flash
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    Nicholls has done a fantastic job in taking over from Martin Pipe in dominating the winter sport. The difference between the two though is Nicholls also wins the top prizes at the top festivals whereas Pipe for much of his career didn’t and never really did with the regularity that Nicholls is.

    Fantastic achievement.

    In terms of media the flat is always going to attract more interest than the jumps as its more glamourous and richer.

    #157089

    thedarkknight
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    Decent trainer with exceptional horses – pretty similar to O’Brien really.

    Training racehorses isn’t rocket science – given decent horses, facilities and staff it isn’t all that difficult.

    Yes, there are some who are better at it than others and Nicholls would be one of the better jumps trainers, but I am sure Alan King for example would do just as well (if not better) given PN’s horses. The idea that any of them are genuises is laughable.

    #157091

    clivex
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    Two things

    (its that boat again..)

    I agree with most of what you say Flash but i think jumps a shade more coverage in the day to day media than flat these days

    If Aidan O’Brien trained the first 3 home in this years Derby everyone would hail him a genius

    A lot of this is down to image (not the one you see above my post here i hasten to add). Aidan doesnt try to cultivate a "genius" tag at all and is a lovely bloke all round but the slightly nerdish and perhaps diffident air can lend itself to some myth making (by others)

    Nichols is as straightforward as a policemans son might be expected to be. His persona is very no nonsense and like many who are highly talented at their craft he communicates with clarity (which i suspect has led to him attracting quality owners) and with a tone that suggests he doesnt see what the fuss is about.

    Doesnt quite fit with the popular perception of how a "genius" should come across

    I agree with TDK’s summary there

    #157100
    pod
    pod
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    As previously alluded to by TDK, I well remember the late Sir Noel Murless saying something similar when asked about possible reasons for calling it a day [circa 1975].

    “If they’re good enough, horses have always been easy to train. I’m just sorry that the same can’t be said for many an owner”.

    For on condition they are treated like the athletes they are, being able to train racehorses to a winning standard is only half-the-task. Being able to first attract and then successfully manage the expectations of owners requires a totally different set of management skills.

    #157102

    Flash
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    I’d tend to agree that if you have the horses its not rocket science to train them that said though some trainers are still better than others. I suppose longevity of success is a way of judging quality in a way.

    There are certain trainers I wouldn’t trust a horse with Johnjo O’Neill is one, Godolphin / Saeed Bin Suroor is another.

    Both organisations have had their successes but both have managed to under perform on numerous occasions with horses they should’ve done better with (of course) in my humble opinion.

    John Gosden is another. Yes he gets certain success but when I hear a trainer tell me that a particular horse "needs ten furlongs" immediately before it wins a Group 1 at Royal Ascot (Nannina) I tend to question his abilities to judge a horse. The said horse disappointed on more than one ocassion after that Group 1 as well.

    On the other side of the coin you get people like Dandy Nicholls – send him a sprinter and you know he’ll get the best he can out of it 99 times out of 100 and its very similar with Paul Nicholl’s over jumps.

    I think its important not to overstate the role trainers play but equally as important not to understate it.

    #157111

    Aragorn
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    Success in Training, as with any business, is down to the management of the operation and having the right people and tools (Horses/Jockeys) in place.

    Judging by the fact that he’s started from humble beginnings I would suggest that Nicholls management and leadership abilities as well as talent is what sets him apart from other trainers – People like Clifford Baker and Anthony Bromley i’m sure are vital to his success and he is always keen to point out that it is a team effort – Ruby ain’t bad either.

    It’s a bit more than just running a horse up the gallops every day – Any idiot can do that… Or any idiot who can ride a horse (I’ve tried its bloody hard!!!)

    #157134

    apracing
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    Agree it’s about staff, especially continuity, keeping people happy and involved.

    But one other factor not mentioned yet is placing of the horses – no idea whether Nicholls does it himself or uses someone to do it for him, but he seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing which horses should take the handicap route and which the ‘novice with a penalty’ route.

    At the top level, how many other trainers would have opted for the Grand Annual with Master Minded and not even entered him for the Champion Chase? Who else has run a 161 rated chaser in the Hennessey in recent years?

    The fascination of getting the placing right is my own warped pleasure in owning horses and I reckon Nicholls is better at it than any of his main rivals – at the very least, to my eyes, he makes fewer mistakes than the others.

    AP

    #157139

    Flash
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    Agree it’s about staff, especially continuity, keeping people happy and involved.

    But one other factor not mentioned yet is placing of the horses – no idea whether Nicholls does it himself or uses someone to do it for him, but he seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing which horses should take the handicap route and which the ‘novice with a penalty’ route.

    At the top level, how many other trainers would have opted for the Grand Annual with Master Minded and not even entered him for the Champion Chase? Who else has run a 161 rated chaser in the Hennessey in recent years?

    The fascination of getting the placing right is my own warped pleasure in owning horses and I reckon Nicholls is better at it than any of his main rivals – at the very least, to my eyes, he makes fewer mistakes than the others.

    AP

    I would completely agree with that AP Nicholls knows his horses inside out generally.

    I don’t want to turn this into a bash O’Neill topic but compare Nicholl’s placing of his horses to Jonjo’s placing of his. I personally think they are leagues apart.

    #157144

    Fist of Fury 2k8
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    On the whole Nicholls deserves all the praise he gets. He seldom goes a bridge too far with a horse although I am still fuming at him running Kauto Star after the Gold Cup.

    Most of his horse I have seen have run on ground suited to them and most of the cash he has briought in was done so in a really professional manner without abusing any the animals he looks after.

    That speaks volumes and he’s got to be up there with some of the other all time greats.

    I know he has probably twice as much to spend and more than most other trainers but that is part and parcel of being a trainer……he has risen quickly through the ranks, seldom gets it wrong and deserves every bit of praise he gets……….To me he is everything the previus Champion Trainer was not and is in a different class.

    #157146
    beckster
    beckster
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    yea he is a very good ttainer, but alot of his owners supply him with exceptional horses so your half way there… its a bit like giving him a porche and the other trainer an escort………….obviously the porche is going to come in before the escort……also behind the scenes , there are quite a few horses, brokedown, injured , retired etc on the way up to that top position……………….but yes he has done amazingly well this time :roll:

    #157149

    thedarkknight
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    The fascination of getting the placing right is my own warped pleasure in owning horses and I reckon Nicholls is better at it than any of his main rivals – at the very least, to my eyes, he makes fewer mistakes than the others.

    AP

    Agree in general although he has made some high profile mistakes – unquestionably running Azertyuiop in that Sandown 2 mile chase in order to try to win the trainers championship was a big rick and I don’t think running Kauto Star last week after a gruelling defeat at Cheltenham was all that clever. However, Nicholls has generally been bold and very successful with the campaigning of his horses.

    There are some notably bad placers of horses out there though – Ive lost count of the number of times I have thought Phillip HObbs has aimed his horses at the wrong target.

    #157153
    beckster
    beckster
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    funny u mention azza as after reading your post i went outside the door for a fag and azza is playfully a grooming a 3yo same breeding line as kato lol, incidently i hear kato will run once more before going for his holiday……………

    #157157

    Anonymous
    • Total Posts 18146

    Agree that whoever does his placing does a marvellous job.
    Not since the Dickinsons has a trainer placed so many horses to run up sequences in quality races.
    It may be ‘easy’ to train good horses but it remains a skill to place them to win multiple races season after season.
    No stats to back this up, but I also feel that his horses learn to jump better than most too. Martin Pipe revolutionised training by getting his horses fitter, but I’ve never been convinced that he did much to improve their jumping, whereas a number of PN’s just get better and bettter
    Possibly the most punter-friendly NH yard we have had in decades too. 8)

    #157158
    beckster
    beckster
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    yea sure also the jumping side of things must be help from dan skelton assistant trainer, as he was into showjumping aswell as dad being an olympic showjumper, you get to know very usefull ways of training the jump :wink:

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