Nicholls Praises Cobden After Pic D’Orhy’s Triumph at Ascot Chase
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Nicholls Praises Cobden After Pic D’Orhy’s Triumph at Ascot Chase

Ascot Racecourse Hosts Thrilling Ascot Chase, as Nicholls Backs Cobden for Champion Jockey

Ascot Racecourse witnessed an exhilarating Betfair Ascot Chase, as trainer Paul Nicholls lavished praise on his stable jockey, Harry Cobden, for his winning ride on Pic D’Orhy. Nicholls has set his sights on making Cobden the champion jockey for the first time this season.

Cobden, who also secured victory aboard Threeunderthrufive in the Injured Jockeys Fund Swinley Handicap Chase, has now established a three-win lead (126-123) over Sean Bowen in the title race. Nicholls expressed his unwavering support for Cobden, stating,

“That was a fantastic ride from Harry. We were always going to be positive. That is why he is vying to be champion jockey — he is riding like a champion.”

Pic D’Orhy’s convincing five-and-a-half-length win over L’Homme Presse was a significant boost for Nicholls in his pursuit of a 15th trainers’ championship. The £100,000 prize money from the Ascot Chase has taken Nicholls’ seasonal earnings past the £2 million mark, widening his lead over rivals Dan Skelton and Nicky Henderson.

While Pic D’Orhy holds an entry for the Ryanair Chase at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival, Nicholls believes the horse’s preference for a flat track means he will be saved for the Aintree Grand National meeting in April, where he will aim to defend his Melling Chase title. Longer term, the trainer envisions Pic D’Orhy taking on the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, with the horse showing the ability to handle the step up to three miles.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup odds for L’Homme Presse, the Ascot Chase runner-up, have been pushed out to 20-1 by Betfair after the defeat. However, the connections of L’Homme Presse remain undeterred, and the horse remains on course for the prestigious Festival feature, which is run over an additional five furlongs.

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