InterviewThe Big Read

Paul Nicholls v Johnny Dineen: the champion trainer and outspoken punter face off

David Jennings tries to build bridges between the champion trainer and the pro punter

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David JenningsDeputy Ireland editor
Paul Nicholls with David Jennings and Johnny Dineen at the top of the gallops in Ditcheat
Paul Nicholls with David Jennings and Johnny Dineen at the top of the Ditcheat gallopsCredit: Steve Davies

It's early January and we're filming the Racing Post's flagship YouTube show, Upping The Ante. During the Questions from the Crowd segment, I read out one from Seb Watkins, who asks: "How many winners do you think Paul Nicholls will have at the festival? He seems to have the strongest team he’s had for a while."

Johnny Dineen, the former bookmaker who is now a hugely successful pro punter and my co-host on the show, puffs out his cheeks and sighs.

"A much stronger team? I wouldn't say he has a much stronger team. He has Hermes Allen in the Ballymore and Bravemansgame is probably his next likeliest winner in the Gold Cup and he has no chance. I would have my house that Nicholls will win zero Grade 1 races. I'm telling you, he will win no Grade 1 races.

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Published on 18 February 2023Last updated 10:53, 24 February 2023