Paul Nicholls confident of breaking flat maiden after 26 year wait

Ten time Champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls is hoping to finally train a flat winner, after no success since he began training in 1991.

The Ditcheat based handler has trained four Gold Cup winners and saddled 113 Grade One winners, but never enjoyed a flat winner.

On Saturday he sends High Secret to Goodwood (4:20) and Volpone Jelois to Salisbury (7:15) in an effort to break an extraordinary 26 year winless run.

Volpone Jelois was only just touched off in an apprentice handicap at Doncaster a month ago, and has been raised 3lb for that effort.

The four-year-old had previously won four races on the flat in France, before transferring to Ditcheat.

Following a good effort at Taunton, he looks to play a leading role now carrying bottom-weight.

“He should have a good chance for us down at Sailsbury,” said the Ditcheat maestro.

“He ran a good race for us up at Doncaster recently, and hopefully he can improve from that effort. He should go tidy, and we’re looking forward to it.”

Photo 2013-07-31 13.56.20
High Secret is a live outsider at Goodwood for Paul Nicholls.

High Secret is a more established name for Nicholls. The six-year-old had a good spell over hurdles last season including a good run when fourth in a Grade One contest at Aintree.

He won six flat races with former handler Sir Mark Prescott, and could hold a good chance in a competitive handicap.

“High Secret is dipping his toe in the water really, ” said Nicholls. “He hasn’t ran on the flat in a while, so we don’t really know what to expect from him.

“He ran some good races there before, and did well over hurdles too. It’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.”

Nicholls has only sent out 14 runners to run on the flat in the last five years, in 2014 Amanto came closest when losing out by a neck to Lil Rockerfeller, who has since gone on to compete in Grade One hurdle contests.

Whilst Sisol was a runner-up on the all-weather in the same year.

High Secret is a 14/1 chance whilst Volpone Jelois is 10/3. We wish Paul and his team the best of luck!


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