Dandy Nicholls is very much a trainer to be interested in when it comes to follow sprint racehorses. He is known as “king of the sprinters” and his stable has very few horses that run over more than a mile. 2009 has done nothing to harm his reputation from the punter point of view, although his position as top sprint trainer is very much under threat from Richard Fahey. His biggest winner of the year was Regal Parade who won the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Hayydock, but unlike Fahey he failed to pick up the top sprint handicaps, which will no doubt have caused some frustration.
So far this year Dandy Nicholls has had 44 sprint winners recorded by me and these have been achieved by 27 different horses. If you take away Blue Tomato’s five wins (four in claimers/sellers) you can see Dandy’s repeat winners are a little low on the ground. It does mean though that many of the horses continue potentially well handicapped and providing the trainer can find the right opportunity they are well capable of winning again. Nicholls seems very adept at winning the biggest prizes available with the talent he is given, so there will be some unsuccessful forays in races beyond his horses’ abilities.
Nicholls has had a typical 2009 with a slow start to the year (he prefers turf!), things started to take off from mid-March onwards peaking in mid-Summer and then slightly tailing off as Autumn approached. It’s worth looking out for the stable’s purple patches. He had two particular ones this year; 4 winners between March 20 – March 24 and then an astonishing 10 winners between July 11 – July 22.
As far as jockeys are concerned, son Adrian is the one to be most interested in with 22 winners so far this year. He continues to improve and is a particularly strong jockey for those horses who like to try and make all. Adrian is ably assisted by Francis Norton (5 wins) and Silvestre De Sousa (3 wins).
Nicholls has had a few Southern winners as he likes to target all decent sprint handicaps, but it has to be said that historically he is most dangerous winning races on the Northen circuit. 2009 has been typical and his most profitable courses have again been Beverley (5 wins), Hamilton (4 wins), York (3 wins), Catterick (3 wins) and Musselburgh (2 wins).
A lot of the stable’s handicappers have run respectably but unsuccessfully in the big sprint handicaps this Autumn. As a result a lot of them have dropped down the handicap a few lbs. If they don’t manage to win again before the end of the 2009 turf season we can rest assured that they will be starting the 2010 campaign in the same vein as this year. Very much a sprint stable to continue to follow!
Smart Oss tipped a Dandy Nicholls 10-1 winner Mujaadel on Saturday, 17th October on tipexchange.co.uk.