Trainer named Cheltenham horse after dinner with Paul Nicholls

A moment of confusion over dinner led to a racehorse being named after trainer Paul Nicholls.

The 11-times champion was visiting Emmanuel Clayeux's stables in Vaumas, where 2019 Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo started his career, one summer's day.

Clayeux, busy preparing three runners to try and keep Tiger Roll's Cheltenham Festival victories to four, said:

"We had lunch outside in front of the house on a very nice day.

"He sat on a chair which is usually my place, so I said 'that's my seat' and he was surprised.

"It was a joke but he didn't understand. I could see the look on his face.

"After that I gave a name to a filly who is Thatsmyseat."

Fifth behind leading JCB Triumph Hurdle contender Allmankind at Cheltenham's 2019 November Meeting, Clayeux hoped to run the four-year-old at The Festival.

However, she was recently taken out of the Grade Two Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle, run over two miles, on March 12.

"She was entered for March but I think she's not in good enough form," Clayeux said on a recent press visit to his yard.

Nicholls was putting the finishing touches to the preparation of his Gold Cup hope Clan Des Obeaux earlier on Wednesday, as he schooled over a few fences at Ditcheat under big race jockey Harry Cobden.

The eight-year-old is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and won his second King George VI Chase over the Christmas period.

He is winless at Cheltenham from five attempts, but Nicholls, who has won the Gold Cup with stars Denman, Kauto Star, twice, and See More Business, hopes he can put the record straight.

“He would be my best chance at the Cheltenham Festival ," he said.

"He has had a great preparation.”

Clayeux is firmly in the camp of reigning champion Al Boum Photo, despite training another top contender Delta Work to win a Lyon bumper.

The pair are an embarrassment of riches on The Festival front for the Frenchman, who also had crack two milers Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi in his yard.

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