The secret to Paul Nicholls' success is a humble blue barrel that sits at his Ditcheat yard | The Sun

PAUL NICHOLLS' success as a superstar 14-time champion trainer is down to a set of innocuous blue barrels that sit at his Ditcheat yard.

Nicholls explained to Betfair how he positions the barrels on fences to sharpen horses up and make them jump better.

In the first 'Coaching Carter' video the bookies have produced, Nicholls is shown watching his runners do laps around the infamous circular route.

You'd be forgiven for thinking the horses get dizzy but the meticulous preparation is all designed to get horses jumping perfectly under the gun.

Nicholls said: "We put the barrels out because it makes them have a little look.

"It gives them a little bit more to jump off and makes them have a really good look into the bottom."

Nicholls has a host of top prospects and proven winners at his disposal this season.

Bravemansgame might have ultimately lost on his season reappearance at Wetherby's Charlie Hall.

But he could now take in the Betfair Chase at Haydock later this month before going for the King George and then a rematch with Galopin Des Champs in the King George.

Speaking about a few more of his runners, Nicholls said…

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I’m looking to start him off in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter again which he won so well last year under a massive weight.

I had him ready to run for his life that day, but he’s a little behind. We will probably step him up in trip, maybe in the Chanelle Pharma Chase at Ascot and that might open some more doors.

Stage Star

He really improved no-end last season, ending with a brilliant win in the Turners Novices’ Chase at the Festival.

He will need to step up again this season and he might not be the easiest to place. I hope he proves good enough for the Ryanair.

We know he loves Cheltenham, loves going left-handed and the Paddy Power Gold Cup is an option.

Hermes Allen

He absolutely bolted up in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle. He was awesome that day and we fancied him strongly for the Ballymore, but he wasn’t at his best and finished sixth.

He’s another who has had his wind done. He’s incredibly athletic and I don’t see the switch to fences being a problem for him.

Knappers Hill

We finished second on his chasing debut at Chepstow earlier this month and he will have learnt plenty. The Grade 2 Rising Stars at Wincanton on Badger Beers day is a good target.

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He might have been quite a big price when winning the Albert Bartlett but it wasn’t a surprise.

I think the tough race at the Festival left its mark when he was beaten at Aintree. He goes over fences this season and there is a novice chase at Exeter on Haldon Gold Cup day.


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