Eleven-times British Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls has received a major boost to his team after renewing his association with leading owner Jared Sullivan who has decided to have all his horses trained in the UK.
The Ditcheat handler has been sent a dozen horses that were formerly trained by Willie Mullins, including Laurina, winner of the Grade 1 Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse and the Grade 2 Mares’ Novice Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
Another Cheltenham Festival winner among the firepower he has acquired is Duc Des Genievres who landed the Arkle in 2019.
Nicholls has trained a number of big winners for Sullivan and is delighted that the pair are back in action again.
Speaking on his Betfair blog, he said: “We have as strong a team of horses as we’ve ever had. The two main yards are full and all our biggest stars from last season are back. I’m thrilled to welcome back Jared Sullivan, who has sent us a cross-section of a dozen horses.
“I have trained loads of top winners for Jared in the past such as Zarkandar, Sanctuaire and Silviniaco Conti and it is great to have his support now he has decided to have his horses trained in the UK.”
Sullivan’s team also includes Stormy Ireland, a six-time winner who finished runner-up in the Mraes’ Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, and Dolicita who finished runner-up to stable companion Concertista in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares’ Novices Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Eglantine Du Seuil, who won the Dawn Run the previous year, has also been sent Nicholls along with some unexposed maiden hurdlers.
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Next Destination set to go chasing
Nicholls has also been sent another talented performer from Mullins in the shape of the Malcolm Denmark-owned Next Destination.
The eight-year-old was last seen winning a Punchestown Grade 1 hurdle contest in April 2018 when beating subsequent Irish Gold Cup winner Delta Work by a neck.
Prior to that he had finished a fine third to Samcro in the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicholls said: “He’s a talented horse. He has had one or two issues and the plan is to go novice chasing with him if all goes well.”
The trainer also issued some updates on his stable stars from last season and their proposed early season targets in 2020/21.
He said: “Topofthegame is being aimed at the Ladbrokes Trophy and our champion chaser Politologue is in good order.
“Clan Des Obeaux is likely to go for the Betfair Chase at Haydock before defending his crown in the King George VI Chase. Cyrname, who looks fantastic, will likely head for the Grade 1 three-mile chase at Down Royal, which should truly tell us if he stays the trip.”
Stars set to clash in mouthwatering Sussex Stakes
The Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood is shaping up to be one of the races of the season with British and Irish 2000 Guineas winners Kameko and Siskin set to face off over a mile on the Sussex Downs.
Unbeaten dual Group One winner Earthlight, trained in France by Andre Fabre, is another possible challenger for the Classic generation in the feature race on Wednesday, July 29.
The older horse division is also set to be well represented, with Queen Anne winner Circus Maximus a likely contender for Aidan O’Brien along with Marcus Tregoning’s Mohaather, who had a luckless passage behind that rival when a five length fifth at the Royal meeting but has since scored in sensational style in a Group 2 at the same venue when showing a devastating turn of foot.
Siskin’s trainer Ger Lyons has already singled out Mohaather as his biggest concern and Tregoning is under no illusion as to the task facing his charge.
He told At The Races: “It does look like being a very good race with the two Guineas winners as well as the others – it’s certainly not going to be an easy task.
“Ger’s horse is unbeaten which is really something in itself, he’s obviously a very good horse who has got lots of speed. Then you have Kameko there as well and there’s a couple of others to look at, too. It’s not going to be easy, but all I can say is that he’s going there with a good chance.”
Siskin favourite to win battle of the generations
Mohaather will be conceding 8lb to the three-year-old contenders, which represents the first real clash of the generations over a mile this term.
That is a stiff task in my eyes, but the manner of his success last time out at Ascot suggested he could be something very special and he is currently the 5/2 second favourite with Unibet for Sussex glory.
Siskin heads the betting at 7/4 with Paddy Power, with Andrew Balding’s Kameko third best in at 100/30 with Betfred.
Last year’s runner-up Circus Maximus can be backed at at a top priced 13/2 888sport to go on better and land the spoils.