The 12 to have moved from Closutton to Ditcheat include top-class mares Laurina, Stormy Island, Dolcita and Eglantine Du Seuil. Real Steel, who ran so well when a close sixth in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, and Duc Des Genievres, the 2019 Arkle winner, are among the others who have been transferred.
In his latest blog for Betfair, Nicholls said: “Going into the new season I think we have as strong a team of horses as we have ever had. The two main yards are full, all the stars from last season are back and I am thrilled to welcome back Jared Sullivan who has sent us a nice cross section of a dozen or so horses who were previously trained by Willie Mullins.
“I trained loads of top winners for Jared in the past including Zarkandar, Sanctuaire and Silviniaco Conti and it is great to have his support again now that he has decided to have all his horses trained in the UK.”
Another new arrival for Nicholls from Ireland is the Malcolm Denmark-owned Next Destination, who the trainer hopes to send novice chasing.
The eight-year-old, who was also trained by Mullins, has been absent since landing the Grade One Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle in the spring of 2018.
Nicholls also gave updates on some of his established stable stars.
He said: “Topofthegame is back in work and is being aimed at the Ladbroke Chase, the two mile champion chaser Politologue is in good order and Clan Des Obeaux is likely to go for the Betfair Chase at Haydock before defending his crown in the King George V1 Chase.
“Cyrname, who looks fantastic, is likely to head for the Grade One1 three mile Chase at Down Royal which should truly tell us if he stays three miles.”
He added: I'm greatly encouraged by a crucial change in the rules that now allow novices who won for the first time over fences or hurdlers after February 1 to remain novices until December 1. That opens up more options for horses like McFabulous, Grand Sancy, Thyme White and Southfield Harvest."
Select any odd to add a bet