Paul Nicholls sets sights on Martin Pipe’s landmark after claiming 3,000th jumps winner in Britain
- Kupatana provided the trainer with his 3,000th jumps winner in Britain
- The 57-year-old became just the third trainer to reach the milestone
- Only Nicky Henderson and Pipe have trained more British jumps winners
Trainer Paul Nicholls on Thursday became only the third man to train 3,000 British jumps winners — and he is already planning how he can train the next 1,000.
Nicholls reached the landmark a day after his 57th birthday when Harry Cobden-ridden Kupatana won at Cheltenham.
Only Nicky Henderson and Martin Pipe, whose record 3,930 British jumps successes is now in Nicholls’ sights, have trained more British jumps winners.
Kupatana’s victory at Cheltenham provided Nicholls with his 3,000th jumps winner in Britain
The landmark was the culmination of a season in which Nicholls has reclaimed the championship — his 11th title — and seen a clutch of new stars emerge, headed by RSA Chase winner Topofthegame, Ascot Chase winner Cyrname and King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux.
Nicholls, who started training in 1991 and has been associated with jumping greats Big Buck’s, Denman and Kauto Star, said Cheltenham — where he has won 45 Festival races including four Gold Cups — was the perfect stage to reach the 3,000.
The trainer added: ‘Cheltenham is the home of jump racing and I was praying we would do it at this meeting. It’s a great achievement and a tribute to the team. Now we can aim at the next 1,000.
‘We are building a really strong team of horses again and I am already looking forward to October when the proper jump season gets going again at Chepstow.’
Nicholls should have Bryony Frost back riding for him at next weekend’s jumps finale at Sandown after she recovered from the broken collarbone that forced her out of the Grand National.
‘Bryony plans to ride out for me on Tuesday or Wednesday and she’ll be back to ride Black Corton and Present Man at Sandown,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Andrea Atzeni misses next month’s Guineas meeting at Newmarket after picking up a six-day whip ban on winner Beringer at the track yesterday. Atzeni could have ridden 1,000 Guineas favourite Qabala.