The International at Cheltenham is the big meeting at Prestbury Park over the next couple of days and all eyes are on Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls. The Master of Ditcheat has racked up no less than 149 winners at Cheltenham over the years meaning he just needs one more to reach the magical 150 mark. Only the great Martin Pipe, Fulk Walwyn and Fred Rimell have trained more winners at Prestbury than Nicholls who has been the dominant force at the track for the past decade. Nicholls trained his first Cheltenham winner back in 1993 and he has followed that up with some memorable victories ever since. The Cheltenham highlights for the trainer have come at the Festival with no less than four Gold Cup winners and four Champion Chase winners on his bulging CV.
Paul Nicholls has very strong string at the moment and he will be taking a number of them into battle over the next couple of days at the International Meeting. Among his potential winners this weekend are the likes of Novice Chaser Sam winner, promising hurdler Brampour and the exciting Mon Parrain who has been touted for a big season. The International is always a crucial meeting at Cheltenham as punters look for ante post Festival betting clues for March. The one big Festival race Paul Nicholls is yet to win as a trainer is the Champion Hurdle and he has made it clear he is eager to end that drought as soon as possible. A good run from Brampour this weekend in the International Hurdle will see his Champion Hurdle odds cut and raise the hopes he could be a major player at the Festival.