I have spent the last couple of days interviewing multiple champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Olly Murphy for One Jump Ahead. It took two sessions to get through Paul's formidable team for the winter ahead. Strengthened recently by the arrival of owner Jared Sullivan's squad of horses, including the likes of Laurina and Real Steel, the Ditcheat based handler has also assembled a potentially strong team of juvenile hurdlers having recruited from France during the summer. Paul was also kind enough to go through his choicely bred team of bumper horses for this Autumn. In total, I think we got through over 120 horses - he was superb.
Grade 1 winning trainer Olly Murphy was also very obliging and he is understandably excited about the winter ahead. Stable stars Brewin'upastorm, Itchy Feet and Thomas Darby have all reportedly summered well and have some big targets ahead of them. Gordon Elliott's former assistant also highlighted the pick of his bumper crop team, too, suggesting he has around 30/40 unraced horses ready to unleash from September onwards.
I am heading to Nicky Richards' yard at Greystoke near Penrith on Thursday. It is a trip I always look forward to because Rectory Farm is set in a beautiful part of my own county, Cumbria. Then, twenty four hours later, I will be back up the M6 for my second visit to Hamilton Park in less than a week.
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