Nicky Henderson won the Champion Jump Trainer title for a fourth time in his career on Saturday 24th April at Sandown Park Racecourse after a tightly fought battle with defending champion Paul Nicholls.
Henderson claimed the championship, which is based on total prize money won through the duration of the season (April to April), after putting enough distance between himself and Nicholls on the final day of the season.
For the second year in a row, the Trainers’ Championship has gone down to the wire with Henderson holding a £168,809 advantage over Nicholls by the end of play on Friday evening (28th April). With plenty of prize money on offer at the Bet365 Jumps Finale at Sandown Park it was not inconceivable for Nicholls, a ten-time Champion Trainer, to reverse the scores, though this would have amounted to one of the greatest sporting comebacks, had he succeeded.
However the first blow went to Henderson as his Call Me Lord came out on top of a battle with the Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos to extend his lead to £190,848. The second race saw neither trainer saddle the winner, as crowd favourite Menorah (ridden by Stobart Champion Jump Jockey Richard Johnson) won the race for the fourth consecutive year. However, it was one of Henderson’s stable stars, Altior, who put the title beyond reach by claiming the bet365 Celebration Chase.
JP McMANUS WINS THE CHAMPION OWNER TITLE
JP McManus has claimed a 10th British Champion Owner title, which again is based on prize money, in emphatic style beating his nearest rival by over £1,700,000.
McManus, whose runners carry the famous green and yellow hooped silks made famous by 20-times Champion Jump Jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, has sent out over 500 runners in Britain this season with 95 returning as winners. Notable highlights for the Irish owner include Buveur D’Air who bagged the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the very impressive Defi Du Seuil who has dominated the Juvenile Hurdling Division.