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Paul Nicholls reveals ex-Manchester United manager ‘loves winning at Liverpool’ and has four prospects at Aintree this week


Saturday’s Grand National will start in the usual silk colours, and throughout the three-day event we will also see a few horses owned by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls has acknowledged the former Manchester United boss is known for his wins at Liverpool and the manager helped him do well at last year’s event.

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Ferguson loves his horse racing and has a great chance at Aintree in Liverpool this week

Paul Nicholls reveals ex-Manchester United manager ‘loves winning at Liverpool’ and has four prospects at Aintree this week

Frost thinks Nicholls will be hard to catch in less than a month

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Ferguson has four horses to compete at Aintree this week, with Protektorat and Clan Des Obeaux competing against each other in the Betway Bowl Chase on Thursday.

Monmiral will be involved in the race after the highly competitive Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle which sees Stunning and Zanahiyr battling it out for favoritism.

Ferguson’s other entry is Friday, another 1 year, in the Marsh Chase with underdog Hitman involved.

Nicholls trains all these Protektorat bar horses which is trained by Dan Skelton and adorns the conspicuous yellow silks with the red star.

Ferguson has his horses in good hands with Nicholls, who has won 12 coaching titles and is chasing the 2021/22 Champion Trainer crown for this 13th.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Aintree Horse Odds via Betfair

  • Protectorate 03/10 – Thu 2:55 p.m. *trained by Dan Skelton
  • Clan Des Obeaux 7/2 – Thu 14:55
  • Monmiral 17/2 – Thu 15:30
  • Hitman 9/1 – Fri 3:30

Paul Nicholls reveals ex-Manchester United manager ‘loves winning at Liverpool’ and has four prospects at Aintree this week

Clan des Obeaux jump the final fence under Harry Cobden to win the Betway Bowl pursuit for Sir Alex Ferguson on day one of the Aintree Grand National racing festival 2021 at Aintree Racecourse on April 8, 2021 in Liverpool (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)

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Sir Alex Ferguson loves having winners at Liverpool

Nicholls added: “It’s well known that he loves beating Liverpool and having winners at Liverpool. He had a fantastic time last year winning three races at Aintree.

Protektorat went on to win at odds of 17/2, beating The Shunter in second and Hitman in third.

Over the summer, Hitman underwent wind surgery which apparently went well with his successive seconds and a respectable third in fourth behind Funambule Sivola in February at Newbury.

Ferguson had a stunning three-race hat-trick that day, immediately after Protektorat won, Monmiral won the Juvenile Hurdle, justifying the favoritism.

Paul Nicholls reveals ex-Manchester United manager ‘loves winning at Liverpool’ and has four prospects at Aintree this week

Ferguson with the Betway Bowl after Clan des Obeaux win on day one of the 2021 Aintree Grand National Race Festival in Aintree

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Then the Bowl Chase straight after saw Clan Des Obeaux go home first to claim another Grade 1 success for the former Red Devils boss.

Nicholls explained: “This year he has good horses with Monmiral, Protektorat, Clan Des Obeaux and Hitman. It’s going to be a little more difficult this year, I’m not sure they’ll win three Grade Ones on the trot, but it’s good to give him plenty of winners and he loves this meeting.

“He has become a good friend and I have known him for about 15 years. He loves everything and is very involved with good horses. I love having him on board and I love chatting with him.

“Our worlds are very similar”

“We talked a lot about the fact that what we do is very similar. He was in charge of a team of players and so was I – the horses. Like him, I could say “he’s on the transfer list”, we are always buying, selling and moving our team. There are a lot of comparisons and we have discussed them a lot.

He’s like me, he doesn’t like to be beaten. And that’s why you work so hard, because you want to win. He was a born winner and he still wants to win. At Manchester United, he always wanted to win the Premier League, but you can’t do it every year and it depends on the team you have, that’s why our jobs are so similar.

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