Horse Racing Cheltenham Festival By Jon Ivan-Duke

Sir Anthony McCoy Backs Henderson & Nicholls

Sir Anthony McCoy is backing Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls to have a successful Cheltenham Festival, despite the dominance of Willie Mullins.

Writing in his exclusive monthly blog for bookmakers William Hill, the 20-time Champion Jockey thinks both Henderson and Nicholls can get on the scoresheet at the big meeting in March:

“Nicky Henderson is still the most successful trainer at Cheltenham and Paul Nicholls has been so dominant over the past fifteen or sixteen years. I would hate to be a bookmaker laying Paul or Nicky NOT to have a winner at Cheltenham as they are so good at placing their horses. If anyone can find a horse to win at Cheltenham it’s them.”

William Hill offer odds of 2/1 that Paul Nicholls does NOT train a 2016 Cheltenham Festival winner and 10-3 that Nicky Henderson fails to hit the target.

Sir Anthony has some advice for those trying to catch up with Willie Mullins:

“Willie Mullins is an exceptionally good trainer, he’s good at placing them, he has one of the best jockeys we’ve ever seen riding for him and he’s becoming just as dominant in the UK as he is in Ireland. He’s a brilliant trainer and at the moment they are all struggling to compete against him, but people will be watching Willie and learning from him. The best way to compete with people who are successful is to copy them. You then have to find a way to be better than them.”

Sir Anthony is taking part in trials for the International Concussion and Head Injury Research Foundation and says that when he was riding, it wasn’t always immediately obvious when he had concussion:

“There were times when I think that I got delayed reactions from concussions. There were times when I got up from the ground and my head was spinning, yet I knew where I was. But then half an hour later you could feel the effects of it. That’s an important thing – to try and analyse what may bring on delays to concussion. The last time I was officially concussed was 1997 and I’ve had a lot of bangs to the head since then. You become aware of your reactions and what you need to do to survive.”

On a lighter note, Sir Anthony was surprised that he was photographed on the beach recently:

“They must be desperate. Have they not got anything better to do? I never saw the photographers, the first I knew was when I got a message from Richard Hughes saying “you’re looking fairly fat on the beach”. He showed me the picture. The comments in the paper were very complimentary about Chanelle, but I couldn’t see anybody saying how great I looked?!”

And Sir Anthony has two horses to follow in this weekend’s races – both trained by Jonjo O’Neill:

“Holywell is better from the turn of the year onwards, the drying ground will help him and he’s not badly handicapped. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him from now until the end of the season. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on. Johns Spirit will like better ground and I don’t think he’s far off coming back to form. Having a break will have done him good and I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up and performed well.”

*Please note – content from the Sir Anthony McCoy Blog may be used but please reference William Hill. For further information please contact Jon Ivan-Duke from William Hill on 07738 853276*

Not To Train A Winner At 2016 Cheltenham Festival: 2-1 Paul Nicholls, 10-3 Nicky Henderson

National Hunt Trainers’ Championship: 4-5 Willie Mullins, 11-10 Paul Nicholls, 16-1 Nicky Henderson, Philip Hobbs, 50-1 Dan Skelton, 100-1 Colin Tizzard, Jonjo O’Neill

Willie Mullins Special – How Many Winners Will He Train At 2016 Cheltenham Festival:

Seven To Nine 6-5

Ten Or More      6-4

Six Or Fewer      11-4

Betbright Trial Chase: 4-7 Djakadam, 13-2 Many Clouds, 15-2 O’Faolains Boy, Smad Place, 14-1 Sam Winner, 16-1 Wakanda, 33-1 The Giant Bolster, 66-1 Theatre Guide, (EW 1/5 Odds Places 1,2,3)

Sky Bet Chase: 11-2 Le Mercurey, 7-1 Ziga Boy, 8-1 Buywise, Dolatulo, Holywell, 11-1 Coologue, 12-1 Aachen, Gullinbursti, 14-1 Court By Surprise, Double Ross, Le Reve, Pass The Hat, 16-1 Ikorodu Road, No Planning, 33-1 Distime, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3) Cleeve Hurdle: 4-5 Thistlecrack, 2-1 Camping Ground, 11-2 Ptit Zig, 25-1 Knockara Beau, The Young Master, 50-1 Guitar Pete, The Romford Pele, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2)