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Mullins v Nicholls: Busy day in race for Trainers’ Title

| 21.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 21, 2016

A 1-2 for Willie Mullins in the feature novices’ hurdle at Perth yesterday reduced his deficit on British jumps Trainers’ Title race leader Paul Nicholls to £43,240.

Mullins scooped over £14,587 at Perth, but Nicholls responded with a second place and a win from two runners at Taunton.

Today could prove to be a busy day in the title race, with Mullins saddling two more runners at Perth and Nicholls responsible for 10 runners at Warwick and Exeter.

Perth – Two runners for Mullins


14.00 – Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Novices’ Hurdle (£3,899 to winner): Townsend is odds-on to provide Mullins with a dream start to the day. Needs to bounce back from a disappointing run last time out at Kempton, but is the clear pick on his best form.

16.00 – Lindsays Handicap Chase (15,640 to winner): Tennis Cap switches back to fences having won a four-runner minor contest over hurdles at Cork when last seen in action. Faces some tough opposition but does have a touch of class and looks a big player.

Warwick – Five runners for Nicholls


14.10 – Close Brothers Maiden Hurdle (£3,249 to winner): El Bandit posted a much improved effort when third last time out, and if building on that has outstanding claims in what looks a weak contest.

15.10 – Close Brothers Finance Handicap Hurdle (£7,148 to winner): The Eaglehaslanded looks a worthy favourite to follow-up an impressive success in a competitive class 2 contest at Cheltenham. Is well-in at the weights turned out quickly under a penalty and now drops into class 3 company. Stable companion Easter Day doesn’t appear to be the force of old.

15.40 – Close Brothers Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (£15,640 to winner): Stilletto was an impressive winner at Leicester prior to falling at the Cheltenham Festival last time out when well-backed. This is easier and looks capable of defying top weight.

16.40 – Close Brothers Standard Open NH Flat Race (31,624 to winner): Brio Conti makes his racecourse debut. Well-bred five-year-old and yard’s representatives in bumpers have been performing well.

Exeter – Five runners for Nicholls

Media Invitation to Paul Nicholls' Stable - Manor Farm Stables

16.55 – Racing UK In Glorious Hd Novices’ Hurdle (£3,249 to winner): Boa Island disappointed when pulled-up on debut for the yard and major bounce back required to land the spoils.

18.00 – Helen Tellam 50th Birthday Novices’ Handicap Chase (£5,198 to winner): Present Man proved expensive to follow over hurdles but was a winner of an Irish Point and could prove a totally different proposition on chase debut.

19.00 – Wild Beer Co Maiden Hurdle (£2,599 to winner): Black Corton was a French bumper winner who shaped as if needing the run when third on hurdles debut for the yard. Looks the type who should have plenty more to offer and a worthy favourite. Stable companion Whipcord looks one for the future when tackling handicaps.

20.00 – Goffs Spring Sales P2P Bumper (£3,165 to winner): Bill And Barn is 2-2 in points and related to a smart bumper performer. Looks an obvious type on paper and likely to take all the beating.

Current prize money totals heading into today’s action

Paul Nicholls total: £2,301,283
Willie Mullins total: £2,258,043


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.