Like father like daughter as Megan Nicholls aims to be champion once more
Silk Series Lady Riders' Handicap | Class 3 | 6f | 3yo+ | 0-90 | ATR
Nicholls in pole position to retain the title on the final day? It's just how the jump trainers' championship was for a decade from 2005.
Except this time it's Megan Nicholls, rather than her father Paul, who's poised to claim the crown again, sitting pretty as the innovative Silk Series for women riders reaches its conclusion.
She took the title in the first year of the series in 2017 and this season is eight points clear of Jane Elliott and 16 ahead of Rhiain Ingram with one race to go.
With 20 points for a winner, her two rivals could snatch victory with success in Thursday's concluding 6f handicap, but Nicholls needs only to finish third on the Richard Fahey-trained Eastern Impact to be certain of coming out on top in the expanded series.
"I think I've got a good chance with Eastern Impact," she said. "He's down in grade for the first time in a while and he's been running really well. On his last run at York, he's got a really good chance.
"But it's got tighter in the last few weeks. Jane and Rhiain have rides and I'd say we're all going in expecting to have a good chance of coming out on top – I hope the few points I am ahead will help me out."
Reflecting on the series, which was expanded to include races on nine courses this year, Nicholls, 21, said: "It's a great initiative and I was delighted to win it in the first year.
"If I could do it again it would be tremendous, we've worked hard all season trying to get decent rides. Mr Fahey has been very good to me and it would be a shame to let it go now."
The Tufnell Trophy, named after pioneering female jockey Meriel Tufnell, will be presented by Elain Mellor, who was champion woman jockey seven times between 1975 and 1985.
Mellor said: "I'm sure Meriel would have been delighted and excited by the Silk Series. I think it's a fantastic initiative that shows off the breadth of the talented female jockeys we have riding in Britain today, both professional and amateur."
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