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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Union caps big day for NichollsHeadlines
Unioniste is clear at the last under Harry Derham

It was to prove yet another glorious Cheltenham Saturday for Paul Nicholls as the champion trainer's four-timer included almost every race of consequence.

A week which started with the acrimonious departure of retired jumping great Kauto Star ended with Nicholls' 18-year-old nephew Harry Derham coming of age aboard the youthful Unioniste in the feature Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup.

Just over half an hour later his stablemate Zarkandar claimed top honours in the stanjames.com International Hurdle, while other successes came via Far West in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial and Shooters Wood in the Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase.

Unioniste was the first four-year-old to land the established Grade Three handicap chase, and had only sneaked into the line-up as a first reserve. As with Al Ferof, winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the last meeting, Unioniste (15-2) carried the familiar yellow silks of John Hales.

He forged 11 lengths clear under a patient ride from the conditional while Walkon, the 7-2 favourite, was forced to settle for the runner-up prize once again, having done so in the Paddy Power as well.

Derham said: "You've got Ruby (Walsh), Daryl (Jacob) and Ryan Mahon in the stable, so there's a pecking order and I was absolutely delighted to get the chance in my second year as a conditional. The horse made my life very easy, he's very strong for a four-year-old and I always knew I had a bit left."

Nicholls, who had five winners on the day courtesy of Rocky Creek's strike at Doncaster, said: "I thought he had to run here off a mark of 137 as he wouldn't get another chance, and he's not like a normal four-year-old, he's a real professional and he knows how to jump.

"I'm so pleased for Harry. He has had to be patient, but we've preserved his claim for big races like this."

Nicholls went on: "I can assure you I've never had a more embarrassing or unenjoyable week like that in my life. I apologise for everything that has gone on and I've never been more embarrassed, so to end it with a win like this is great. The horse will have a month off now and he'll have an entry for the RSA."

Unfortunately for Nicholls, his other runner Cristal Bonus suffered a fatal injury in the race.

20 February 2017

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Regal Encore in Midlands National frame
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
All-the-way Acapella Bourgeois enters RSA Chase picture after Navan romp
Don Poli and Outlander heading for Gold Cup
Cheltenham off the agenda for Identity Thief following setback
Ball D'Arc bounds to Flyingbolt success at Navan
Colin Tizzard set for nervous Cheltenham build-up
Blow for Paul Nicholls with Cliffs Of Dover out for rest of the season
Harry Fry rules out National Hunt Chase for RSA-bound American
Nicky Henderson still undecided over Whisper's Cheltenham target

19 February 2017

Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
Setback rules Identity Thief out of Navan outing
Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
'Job done' as Yanworth battles to Kingwell Hurdle victory
Lion roars to National favouritism with Haydock success
'Everything you want to see and more' - Cue Card thrills in Ascot Chase romp
Worlds End enters Cheltenham equation after Haydock triumph
Tombstone floors Jezki in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park
Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham
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Beyond Conceit secures Cheltenham spot with Ascot success

18 February 2017

Cue Card back to his brilliant best in Ascot Chase
Vieux Lion Rouge boosts Grand National claims at Haydock
Yanworth battles to hard-fought victory in Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton
Ballycasey takes Red Mills Chase honours at Gowran Park
Don Bersy bags biggest success yet at Haydock but Cheltenham off the agenda
Gary Moore hopeful of Ar Mad return before the end of the season
Sutton Place bids for Boyne honours at Navan
Identity Thief bids for Flyingbolt redemption following disappointing spell
Loughran hoping Acapella Bourgeois can hit Ten Up target
William Cox suffers broken jaw and Eoin Walsh breaks arm in Wolverhampton spill
Hamelin atones for stalls mishap with victory at Newcastle
Fairytale success for Captain Guy Disney in Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown
Colin's Sister on track for Cheltenham after sizzling Sandown display
Bigbadjohn on Reynoldstown recovery mission at Ascot
Aux Ptits Soins in hurdling switch for Rendlesham test
Former two-mile king Jezki on trial for Cheltenham target
Cue Card primed for Ascot Chase bid
David Pipe hoping Lion can roar in Grand National Trial
Yanworth aiming to reign in Kingwell outing at Wincanton

17 February 2017

Two riders taken to hospital following Wolverhampton spill
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Jockey Club dismisses any suggestion of changes to Kempton proposals
Dubai World Cup night engagement beckons for Opal Tiara
Big-race options open as Saphir Du Rheu returns to winning ways at Kelso
Apple's Jade on course for Quevega Hurdle at Punchestown
Sandown and France on the radar for Ptit Zig
National favourite Don Poli 'doubtful' for Aintree following weights dispute
Dan Skelton happy to take Champion challenge with 'improving' Superb Story
Colin's Sister primed for long-range target at Sandown
Blaklion out to roar for Nigel Twiston-Davies in National Trial
Cue Card faces five in Ascot Chase

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