GBI RACING

Nicholls chasing history-making famous five in Gold Cup

Paul Nicholls with this year's big Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Clan Des Obeaux

Clan Des Obeaux carries Paul Nicholls’ hopes as the 10-time champion trainer bids to win a record-equalling fifth Cheltenham Gold Cup – joining Tom Dreaper at the top of the all-time list. Here, Press Association Sport recalls Nicholls’ previous victories:

1999 – See More Business

See More Business, Mick Fitzgerald and Georgina Bown after his Gold Cup win
See More Business, Mick Fitzgerald and Georgina Bown after his Gold Cup win (Barry Batchelor/PA)

Ridden by Mick Fitzgerald, starting price 16-1. Nicholls’ hopes of a maiden win in the Cheltenham showpiece had been cruelly dashed the year before when, sent off 11-2 second-favourite, See More Business was carried out as Tony McCoy pulled up Cyborgo before the seventh fence. Less well-fancied 12 months on, See More Business appeared revitalised by Nicholls’ application of first-time blinkers and won by a hard-fought length from outsider Go Ballistic.

2007 – Kauto Star

Horse Racing – Kauto Star & Clive Smith – Filer
Kauto Star and his owner Clive Smith (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, starting price 5-4 favourite. Kauto Star capped an unblemished campaign, over various distances, with this emphatic two-and-a-half-length win from Exotic Dancer. As throughout their brilliant season, Kauto and Walsh always appeared to have events entirely under control as they led two out and – despite hitting the last – won their sixth successive Graded race in unison.

2008 – Denman

Denman and Sam Thomas cross the line in front in 2008
Denman and Sam Thomas cross the line in front in 2008 (Barry Batchelor/PA)

Ridden by Sam Thomas, starting price 9-4. The memorable Kauto-Denman era was in full throw – Cheltenham bedecked by partisan scarves, in the colours of respective owners, supporting one of the two heavyweight contenders. It was to be Denman who produced a trademark surge to victory, by seven lengths from his great rival – with just a short-head between the 10-11 favourite in the runner-up spot and subsequent Grand National winner Neptune Collonges, as Nicholls supplied the first three home.

2009 – Kauto Star

There was no stopping Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh in 2009
There was no stopping Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh in 2009 (David Jones/PA)

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, starting price 7-4 favourite. The flashy white blaze was home in front again as Kauto Star gained his revenge on the grinder that was Denman, and in the process became the first and only horse ever to regain the Gold Cup. He did so impressively too, 13 lengths back to his stablemate – with Neptune Collonges fourth this time, behind Exotic Dancer, and 100-1 shot My Will fifth for good measure for Nicholls.

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