Paul Nicholls is riding a crest of a wave with a treble at his local track on Thursday. The 11-times champion was at Wincanton where he saddled Cill Anna, Worthy Farm and Calva D’Auge to win their respective races.
The former got Nicholls and Harry Cobden off to a great start by landing the opening Molson Coors EBF Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle. “She’s an improving mare. We'll probably give Cheltenham a miss with her as the Mares' Novice Hurdle would be on the short side for her. We'll find a nice race somewhere,” said Nicholls.
Worthy Farm landed the featured Unique Financial Planning Handicap Chase, with 3-1 joint-favourite seeing off The Kings Writ by two lengths.
A horse described by Nicholls as difficult to get fit, said: “He’s an improving horse and did it nicely. He'll probably come back here for a similar race in a fortnight's time.”
The Be Wiser Novices' Hurdle represented a significant drop in class for the five-year-old Calva D’Auge, having finished fourth in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown almost four weeks ago.
He was the 8-13 favourite to win and made virtually all the running to get up by a head from the Nick Williams-trained Faire Part Sivola.
Nicholls said: "It was a bit of a drop in class and a good opportunity for him to get his head in front again.
"He's tough and a good, fun horse for his owners. I haven't really thought about the Cheltenham Festival for him. There are plenty of nice races to be won without taking him there."
Nicholls is also a part owner of the Rose Loxton-trained Virak who landed the Stewart Tory Memorial Open Hunters’ Chase. Natalie Parker was on board the 11-year-old who lead approaching three out and galloped on to record a 27 lengths victory from Rose’s other runner, Earth Leader.
Other winners on the day were Ibleo who landed the John Honeyball Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase with Charlie Deutsch in the saddle, the Emma Lavelle-trained, James Drummond-owned Brunswick Bay who won the bumper ridden by Ben Jones, and Espoir De Romay, winner of the Be Wiser Handicap Hurdle for Kim Bailey and Ned Curtis.