Nicholls rules out blinkers for Denman

Paul Nicholls has ruled out the possibility of Denman wearing blinkers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Paul Nicholls has ruled out the possibility of Denman wearing blinkers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Part-owner Harry Findlay had mentioned the aid of some form of headgear in the belief that the 2008 Gold Cup winner would benefit from the assistance.

However, while Nicholls says a sheepskin noseband is a possibility, blinkers are not on his mind.

“He definitely won’t wear them at Cheltenham,” Nicholls told The Times. “I know people say we did it with See More Business when he won the Gold Cup but he’d been jumping badly and had just become naughty.

“Denman made a mistake last week but he’s generally a brilliant jumper. We’ll consider a sheepskin noseband but nothing more.”

After Denman’s defeat, Nicholls is confident the big-race atmosphere will work in his favour as he aims to prevent stablemate Kauto Star winning a third Gold Cup.

“We took him for a racecourse gallop at Exeter before the Hennessy and he was shocking,” added the champion trainer.

“He’s a character that takes some knowing and can be like that until we have him fully wound up. He’ll be a different horse at Cheltenham – the big days seem to rev him up quite naturally.”

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