Speed machines: ten star names for David Nicholls
Regal Parade: a cheap purchase before winning Group 1s
PICTURE: Martin Lynch Speed machines: eight star names for Nicholls By David Baxter 3:00PM 9 MAR 2017
The first Nunthorpe winner for Nicholls, Bahamian Pirate handled soft conditions on the Knavesmire to win at the age of nine, defeating another venerable veteran, The Tatling. Bahamian Pirate was also Nicholls' first Ayr Gold Cup winner in 2000, and won 12 of his 104 starts.
Delivered two Group 1s in a season when winning the July Cup and Abbaye. The latter was by a nose at Longchamp, with connections of the second, Slap Shot, initially having the winner's blanket on their runner until the photo-finish verdict was announced. Continent also won the Ayr Gold Cup in 2001 and was victorious seven times from 70 starts.
After starting out with Sir Michael Stoute, Fremen found his way to Nicholls, where he became dominant in plating company. From 77 starts he won 22 times, 14 of which were in sellers or claimers.
Nicholls won the Ayr Gold Cup six times between 2000 and 2010, and Funfair Wane obliged twice, in 2002 and 2004. Bred by Kevin Keegan's wife Jean, who also owned the horse with Nicholls, Funfair Wane won eight of his 66 starts.
Picked up for a modest 16,000gns at the sales, Regal Parade gave Nicholls two Group 1s, the Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. He was another Ayr Gold Cup winner for Nicholls, leading home a 1-2 for the yard in 2008 when defeating Tajneed, and was still racing last October aged 12. He has won 13 of 104 starts, with nearly £780,000 in total prize-money.
Wind him up and watch him fly. Rudi's Pet loved a sharp five furlongs, and when he was hurtling downhill was a force to be reckoned with. He won the then Group 3 King George at Goodwood in a course record time of 56.01 seconds in 1999, a record that still stands, and the Epsom Dash in 2002. Overall he won 14 times from 104 starts.
Tax Free: earned more than £600,000 in a superb career
PICTURE: Martin Lynch
Strike Up The Band
An extremely durable sprinter who was classy on his day. The 2005 Group 3 Molecomb Stakes was his biggest win, but he was also successful at Ascot's Shergar Cup meeting with Yutaka Take aboard. He was a regular fixture in sprint handicaps for many seasons and won six times from 70 starts.
A flagbearer for the yard for many seasons, Tax Free's biggest moment came in the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly in 2009. He was a hardy traveller, with several wins coming in France and Ireland, and through his career won 18 times from 95 starts and earned more than £600,000 in prize-money.
A history-maker for Alex Greaves, as she became the first female jockey to ride a Group 1 winner in Europe when dead-heating with Coastal Bluff in the 1997 Nunthorpe. Greaves also partnered Ya Malak to win the Epsom Dash and a Listed race at Sandown in the same year. He won ten times from 49 starts.
A Glorious Goodwood legend, Zuhair came alive there, winning the same 5f handicap four times in a row from 1999 and 2002. In 1999 Zuhair managed to win two handicaps at the meeting in the space of three days. The race he was so prolific in was, for a time, renamed in his honour.
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