Nicholls brings up his century after double at Newbury on Bet Victor March Racing Day

By Peter Moore at Newbury  Friday 1st March 2024

14-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls brought up his 100th winner of the season after landing a double at Newbury on Bet Victor March Racing Day.

Nicholls, struck with Kruger Park in the opening 2m 4f conditional jockeys handicap hurdle and the very impressive Toss Of A Coin in the novices hurdle.

The Ditcheat trainer was a happy man after Toss Of A Coin made it a century for the current national hunt champion trainer.

 “It’s a nice milestone and the 23rd time we’ve done that. I always liked to get to £2 million in prize-money before Cheltenham and we did that two weeks ago, which was good.

“We’ve just got to keep on going until the end of the season and there’s still lots to do – you never look back and always look forward.”

Lambourn trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis made an entry in the Bet Fred Derby with the unraced Padesha and may also have a runner at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival after Ithaca’s Arrow won the 2m juvenile hurdle with Ben French Davis on board.

Claiming 5 pounds, Ben has ridden the horse four times, finishing second twice and now finally getting his nose in front after getting the better of the odds on favourite Le Fauve.

In form trainer Chris Gordon bagged another success when the bottom weight I’D Like To Know won the 2m handicap steeple chase by five lengths from the Dan Skelton trained Real Stone.

“He was over-excited, which he gets from the trainer’s wife!” Gordon joked.

“Harry Skelton took us on and they injected so much pace into the race, and were winging into fences. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God,’ and I could see the petrol gauge going down and down, but he could have won on the bridle. They just got racing too early, but my lad is a nice horse.”

The likeable Gordon revealed after the race that The Sussex Champion Chase could be next for I’D Like To Know, with the Winchester trainer boasting an excellent record at the Sussex course.

It was also a good day for trainer Venitia Willaims and jockey Charlie Deutsch after the pair scored a double with Martator going up in trip to land the 2m 4f novices handicap steeple chase and Tanganyika running away with the last race on the card to post victory by 25 lengths after leading from start to finish.