Posted: 24th Feb 2016
Cue Card beat Nicholls' Silviniaco Conti this season but the trainer is a fanPICTURE: Getty Images
PAUL NICHOLLS will be without a runner in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup for the first time since 2004 but the great race's four-time-winning trainer nonetheless knows who he wants to win and yesterday revealed he will be "absolutely screaming" for Cue Card.
Nicholls has captured the sport's holy grail with dual champion Kauto Star, Denman and See More Business but he will not add to his tally this season having decided against confirming the initial entries of Saphir Du Rheu, Rocky Creek and Virak.
"It will be the first time in years we haven't had a runner in the Gold Cup, which is sad," said Nicholls.
"I thought for a second about whether we should supplement Silviniaco Conti given the way he won at Ascot on Saturday, but we know he doesn't like Cheltenham. Aintree is the plan for him and we'll stick to it.
"I could have run a horse like Rocky Creek but he would have been lapped. We just need to wait until another Gold Cup horse comes along.
"If we do have a future Gold Cup horse it could be Aux Ptits Soins, I've no doubt about that. Potentially he is very good."
'I'll be absolutely screaming for him'
Already more than good enough to contest the Gold Cup is the horse the Ditcheat maestro will be cheering, Cue Card, trained on the Dorset-Somerset border by Colin Tizzard, whose son Joe once rode as Nicholls' stable jockey.
"I'll be absolutely screaming and shouting for Cue Card to win," said Nicholls.
"I'd love to see him do it for lots of reasons - there's the connection to Joe and his family, he's a local horse and there's the friendly rivalry between Britain and Ireland.
"His King George form is very strong and any horse who wins the King George can win the Gold Cup.
"He looks more and more a stayer and I've always believed you have to stay strongly to win a King George.
"It's a cracking race but he certainly could win it."
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