Paul nicholls

The young trainer Sam Drinkwater is one to watch

Certain sections of the media love to run a knocking story and when champion trainer Paul Nicholls’s horses failed to win as many races as usual over the past three weeks, the groaners were soon at it. Was the magic missing? Had the maestro mislaid his baton? The Nicholls response was characteristically bold. He sent out his star young chaser Bravemansgame, his best hope for the Cheltenham Festival, to contest a novice handicap at Newbury last Saturday in which he had to give lumps of weight to a couple of handy performers in the shape of Grumpy Charley and Pats Fancy. Bravemansgame was the highest-rated horse to run in a

My top tip for the Grand National in 2023

Want to know the winner of the Grand National in 2023? You heard it here first: when the ante-post books open, get in early on Kitty’s Light, trained by Christian Williams and to be ridden, I hope, by Jack Tudor. Being married to a racing scribe is a bit like being an angler’s wife: you hear rather too often the tales of the one that got away. Mrs Oakley is so inured to my hard luck stories that she tells all her friends they can be sure that any horse I recommend will finish second. But after Sandown Park’s jump racing finale last Saturday, she conceded my point and consolingly