Paul Nicholls extended his lead at the top of the British Trainers’ Championship with a brace in the Ascot Jumps season finale on Sunday.
The defending champion, who edged closest rival Nicky Henderson by around £160,000 in prize money, won this campaign, fielded six riders and saw Chavez and Danny Kirwan return victorious under stable jockey Harry Cobden.
Chavez (13/8 favorite) scored an easy hit in the Peter O’Sullevan 2022 Lambourn Open Day Maiden Hurdle, going off the mark over the hurdles on the third attempt, while Danny Kirwan produced a nice round of jumps to beat Champagne Court at the winning prize of £9,000 in the Soil Science Handicap Hunt.
Nicholls could use the help of every pound he can muster with Irish maestro Willie Mullins revealing this week he is ‘weighing in’ a serious blow to the British title after looting 10 Cheltenham Festival races and £1,273,783 of earnings.
That leaves Mullins just over £600,000 behind the Ditcheat manager and a successful raid at Aintree could just put him in contention.
Cheltenham proved disappointing for Nicholls, pulling Bravemansgame out of the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the last moment due to the ground, while his other main contenders – Stage Star and Bob and Co – failed to finish.
Reflecting on the trainers title, Cobden joked, “Never mind his cat, and mine?!
Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, he added: “It’s brilliant and fingers crossed we can win another championship.
British Jump Coaches Championship
“Normally we come out of Cheltenham between £200,000 and £300,000 behind and, although we probably don’t have the horse we once had, we came out this year £200,000 ahead.
“We have a great team going to Aintree. I’m not saying we have a lot of quality, but we have a lot of opportunities. »
Of Danny Kirwan’s win, Cobden said: “He’s very ground dependent and anything that’s not good affects his wind. Today was fun to ride and jump from fence to fence.
“It was a bit long when I thought there was one more, but the horse knew better. He won well. »
Golden Boy gives Moore a brace that day
Gary Moore was also on the double at Ascot as Golden Boy Gray records his third victory over the fences.
The six-year-old, who has yet to finish outside the top two in six starts this season, beat Nicholls favorite Thyme White after a fine run from Jamie Moore, despite the winner having been seriously hampered in the last corner.
fifty ball had earlier returned to winning ways for trainer Moore, beating Sizable Sam in the Memberships At Ascot Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle for his first win since December 2020.
Cobden made three trips to the winner’s compound on Sunday as he stood up against the winner of the Veteran’s Handicap Chase Elegant getaway for Colin Tizzard.
The former Welsh National winner stayed valiantly up the hill on the straight to beat Wandrin Star and Some Chaos, recording his first win in over three years.
Elsewhere on the card was a surprise 28/1 Colts & Fillies Club Juvenile Handicap Hurdle winner as Stuart Edmunds. Krypton Gold drew six behind their rivals, while Nicholls was denied a hat-trick in the last, with Adrien Du Pont well beaten by David Kemp law of gold.
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Ascot Jumps Final: Paul Nicholls bolsters Coaches Championship charge with wins for Danny Kirwan and Chavez | Race News – News 24 | News in France and abroad