Nicholls 8/1 for Cheltenham repeat

  • Last Updated: February 20 2013, 14:17 GMT

Paul Nicholls is rated an 8/1 chance to win two or more of the championship races at the Cheltenham Festival by Sky Bet.

Paul Nicholls: His 2013 Festival team has been weakened by injury

Nicholls, who won two of the four major races last season, has been hit with a number of injury blows this season, including Big Buck's and Al Ferof.

However, he still has some well-fancied horses, including Zarkandar in the Champion Hurdle and Silviniaco Conti in the Gold Cup.

Those two can be backed in a double at 40/1 with the Leeds-based firm.

Nicholls, who paraded his team in front of the media at his Ditcheat stables on Wednesday morning, is less likely to taste success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the World Hurdle, according to the prices.

Sanctuaire will carry his hopes in the Champion Chase, with Celestial Halo considered an outsider for the World Hurdle, a race won by Big Buck's in each of the last four years.

Sky Bet subsequently make Nicholls 100/1 to win three or more of the major races. He is 15/8 to win just one.

Nicholls is currently rated a 15/2 shot by Sky Bet to finish the Festival as top trainer.


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