Cheltenham Festival: Paul Nicholls has chance to make history in Gold Cup

Paul Nicholls with his Gold Cup hopeful Silviniaco Conti

Paul Nicholls with his Gold Cup hopeful Silviniaco Conti

First published in Sport Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor covering the Thornbury, Dursley and Yate areas

PAUL Nicholls is hoping to become only the second trainer to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for a fifth time tomorrow.

The Olveston-born trainer dominated the race between 2007 and 2009 when two-time winner Kauto Star and Denman were in their pomp and celebrated his first win with See More Business in 1999.

Only Tom Dreaper has won the title five times, but Nicholls will join him if Silviniaco Conti triumphs.

The eight-year-old gave Nicholls his eighth King George VI chase victory on Boxing Day and was close to the front before falling just three from home in last year’s Gold Cup, which was won by Bobs Worth.

“He won the King George and he was travelling well last year when he fell so with a bit of luck he must have a good chance,” said Nicholls.

Silviniaco Conti has already beaten Bobs Worth this season when coming third in the Betfair Chase last November, but Nicholls does not think that is significant.

He said: “We’ve improved and he’s improved since, but Bobs Worth looks like the one to beat.”

Nicholls had also hoped to run Rocky Creek in the big race, but the Hennesy Gold Cup runner-up is suffering with ringworm and will now be aimed at the Grand National.

Sire de Grugy, trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Jamie Moore, triumphed in the Queen Mother Champion Chase yesterday.

Calculated Risk, owned by Dursley-based Terry Warner, finished down the field in 22nd in the Coral Cup.

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