Nicholls has sense of perspective

  • Last Updated: February 15 2013, 13:37 GMT

Paul Nicholls admits setbacks such as the one suffered by Tidal Bay have been put into perspective by Paul Stewart's IronSpine Challenge.

Paul Nicholls: Forced to rule Tidal Bay out of National
Paul Nicholls: Forced to rule Tidal Bay out of National

It is now over four years since Stewart, son of racehorse owner Andy, was paralysed in a snowboarding accident and he will be at Ascot on Saturday to raise awareness of the latest challenge in his amazing story of recovery.

Nicholls has a strong team in action on the card but on Thursday was forced to rule top weight Tidal Bay out of the John Smith's Grand National.

Writing in his exclusive column at the champion trainer said on Friday: "There was a time when injuries to horses like Tidal Bay would have really got me down.

"I don't mind admitting that I was incredibly frustrated upon hearing the news yesterday afternoon - for Mr Wylie, above all else - but these days I count to ten and put things into perspective. There is no point moping around for too long, you just have to get on with it.

"And nothing brings that into sharper focus than Paul Stewart, whose IronSpine Challenge is being given such well-deserved airtime at Ascot on Saturday.

"Of course, we have had more than our share of injuries here in the last couple of years.

"Al Ferof and Big Buck's were obviously blows earlier in the season, and those setbacks, following on from the recent retirements of the greats Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded and Neptune Collonges, were hard to take at the time. It is gutting when these things happen.

"I know it is a well-worn response of trainers, but it is true when we say that you only hear about the good ones. I would say, on average, season-ending injuries happen to about a dozen or so horses here, out of a total of around 160+, every year. So a small percentage. But every horse has people who love and care for it, whether it be rated 108 or 180.

"So you have to get on with it, and stay positive and focused."

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