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    Cheltenham Festival Novelty Chase Duo Sparks Nicholls' Enthusiasm
Cheltenham Festival Novelty Chase Duo Sparks Nicholls' Enthusiasm
Ginny's Destiny jumping over a hurdle by Alan Crowhurst

Cheltenham Festival Novelty Chase Duo Sparks Nicholls' Enthusiasm

Paul Nicholls is preparing for this year's Cheltenham Festival with a more focused team that appears to be particularly strong in the novice chase category, led by Ginny's Destiny and Stay Away Fay, who are both top contenders in their respective events.

Despite facing tough competition from the dominant Irish trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, the champion trainer is planning to enter only a select group of around twelve horses. Ginny's Destiny is currently the favourite in the betting for the Turners Novices' Chase, while Stay Away Fay is also a key figure in the wagering for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase.

Having triumphed in his last three outings over fences at Prestbury Park, Nicholls expressed his surprise at the significant progress Ginny's Destiny has shown. The trainer praised the horse, stating,

"He's possibly one of the most improved horses in training. He has secured victories in his previous three races at Cheltenham, performing exceptionally well on Festival Trials day."

Nicholls continued to highlight Ginny's Destiny's strengths, noting his solid jumping ability, stamina, and continuous improvement. The trainer expressed confidence in the horse's capabilities, comparing him favourably to Stage Star, the winner of the Turners last year.

Regarding Stay Away Fay, who clinched a Festival win last season, Nicholls acknowledged the horse's defeat at the Cotswold Chase but felt he had enhanced his reputation against mature competitors. The trainer emphasised Stay Away Fay's stamina and highlighted the value of his experience, particularly in challenging races.

Nicholls confirmed that the decision to race Stay Away Fay against Fact To File was unaffected by Willie Mullins' choices, showcasing his confidence in his horses' abilities. Stay Away Fay's performance in the Cotswold Chase was seen as beneficial for his development, preparing him for the upcoming challenges at Cheltenham.

Nicholls expressed optimism about Stay Away Fay's progress, emphasising the importance of his development and experience in competitive races. The trainer remained positive about Stay Away Fay's readiness and stamina ahead of the upcoming festival races.

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