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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Nicholls' interest in the Flat increased with small team of two-year-olds

Megan Nicholls: set to help Dad Paul with small two-year-old team
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Paul Nicholls is set to train his first two-year-olds next year to satisfy an interest in becoming more involved in the Flat.

Unlike nearly all his training rivals, including Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and Alan King, who have enjoyed major success in both codes, Nicholls' successes have been almost exclusively jumps.

This year he has kept a few in training for the Flat to support his apprentice daughter Megan, which yielded his first winners, and now she has encouraged him to take on some juveniles too.

"We've had three winners on the Flat and others have finished second from very few runners – I've quite enjoyed it," he said.

"Megan is very keen to come back and get involved in running some Flat horses. I said if she can find some owners and buy three or four cheaper yearlings, we'll see how we get on with them."

Small-scale plans

Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott has made a spectacular entry into two-year-old training this year with Group 2 winner Beckford, but Nicholls says his involvement will be at a lower level.

"It's going to be very small-scale," he continued. "I've always thought I'd like to train a two-year-old, but it's not a big thing. Megan will be doing it, and Will Biddick, who does our pre-training, will help her get them going.

"If it worked and we did okay we could expand. I wouldn't mind having one or two more nice older horses we could run on the Flat if someone could send us a couple.

"I also wouldn't mind having a couple of sharp sprinters because I think our bottom gallop would absolutely lend itself to that. A team of ten or 12 nice Flat horses, that would be fun, but it's not going to be big thing. The jumpers take up our time the whole year round anyway."

It's going to be very small scale. I've always thought I'd like to train a two-year-old but it's not a big thing
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