Adrian Nicholls hoping to take starring role in Leger Legends heat

Tue 12 Sep 2017

Adrian Nicholls is one of 14 former jockeys raising money for charity in Wednesday's Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Race at Doncaster.

Nicholls, who recently embarked on a training career, will ride Fire Palace for Robert Eddery in the mile contest.

Now in its eighth year, Dale Gibson is the driving force behind the event, which helps raise money for Jack Berry House in Malton and the Northern Racing College.

Nicholls, though, would love nothing more than coming out on top in a tight finish with Gibson, who rides Mustaqbal for Michael Dods.

"On bits and pieces of her form last year, she might have a chance," said Nicholls of Fire Palace.

"The whole thing is a bit of a lottery really, but it's for a good cause.

"Ian Mongan must have a chance on Richard Fahey's (Character Onesie) and the 'Angry Ant' (Gary Bardwell on Patching) too, but none of us were holding our breath about riding Michael Dods' given Gibbo rides out for him most mornings!

"Dale will be fully tuned up, don't you worry about that, he will have been training for this since April.

"It's a good opportunity for horses of this calibre to win some decent prize money. I was actually going to run one, but he'd have been out of the handicap so decided to wait.

"I'd love to get up and beat Dale in a tight finish, that would be the dream. We'll have a laugh whatever the result."

George Duffield, now 70, rides former Godolphin inmate Soldier Blue for Brian Ellison.

At The Races and ITV presenter Luke Harvey is back for another go, hoping to improve on his third-place finish behind Sir Tony McCoy two years ago.

"This is my sixth ride in it and the closet I've been was third behind AP, but he was on the best horse - I could have won on Gannicus!" said Harvey.

"I feel a fraud getting introduced as a legend, but I did a feature recently for ATR at the Northern Racing College getting to see all the hard work behind the scenes and I see this as doing my little bit.

"Dale Gibson starts working on this race in October of the previous year, he works tirelessly putting it on.

"I don't think there's any doubt, though, that George Duffield will be the fittest among us and he's 70. He's certainly a legend.

"I'm fairly fit, I've been riding out for Nicky Henderson and I'm only about 5lb higher than when I was riding."

Ollie Pears rides Detachment for Les Eyre, who won the race three years ago with Bob, ridden by Gibson.

"This is my sixth ride and in the other two I've had runners so I've been involved in them all," said Pears.

"Les has won the race before and I used to ride for him so I'm happy with my ride.

"It's raised over £750,000 now, it's a great event and I enjoy taking part."

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