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Paul Nicholls celebrates 3,000th career winner after Capitaine scores at Taunton

Following hot on the heels of his career-best eight winners in a day on Saturday, Paul Nicholls secured another landmark on Tuesday when Capitaine became the 3,000th winner of the trainer's career.

The seven-year-old landed the 2m½f handicap hurdle at Taunton under Harry Cobden, becoming Nicholls' 2,960th jumps winner in Britain, a figure supplemented by 11 British Flat successes, 25 in Irish jumps races and four over jumps in France. 

"It really is something of a landmark to reach the 3,000 winners overall as it's something I could only dream about in the early '90s when I first started training in Devon," said a delighted Nicholls.

"The move to Paul Barber's Manor Farm yard in 1994 has proved pivotal in all the success we've had, and it's fantastic that he's a director at Taunton and here this afternoon.

PAUL NICHOLLS CAREER IN NUMBERS

3,000 winners
2,960 British jumps winners
11 British Flat winners
25 jumps winners in Ireland
4 jumps winners in France
120 Grade 1 wins
£3,646,511 best prize-money haul (2007-08)
171 best winners haul (2016-17)
10 champion trainer titles
4 Cheltenham Gold Cup wins
10 King George triumphs
1 Grand National success

"I couldn't have done any of this without all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and I'm very fortunate to have a brilliant staff back at home, where all the real hard work is done."

Nicholls has trained some of the biggest names in recent times, such as See More Business, Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded and Big Buck's, and this season is enjoying something of a renaissance.

He leads the year's training title by a clear margin from Nicky Henderson, with his team including the highest-rated horse in training in Cyrname, and strong Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Clan Des Obeaux. Both horses were among his magnificent eight Saturday winners.

Nicholls, who has been champion trainer ten times, said: "In the last 25 years we've had 120 Grade 1 winners and 43 Cheltenham Festival successes, and they include such memorable moments as See More Business, Kauto Star and Denman winning the Gold Cup.

"There are also ten King George victories and ten Tingle Creeks as well as Neptune Collonges winning the Grand National – the list is long but every winner is important, whether it's a handicap hurdle at Taunton or a Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"For instance this horse Capitaine has had a catalogue of problems, including an operation for kissing spines and then we had to tinker with his wind.

"My daughter Megan has done a lot of the work with him at home and it has all paid off handsomely. I must admit I thought he might just need this run but Meg was convinced he was in good form and she's been proved right."

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