In his prime, Indian Trail reached a BHA rating of 107, in a purple patch in 2007 when he won back to back Class 2 sprints at Sandown and Haydock before finishing eighth in the Ayr Gold Cup. Now, at the age of 13, he runs off a mark of 69, an indication that age has finally caught up with him.
Beverley is a fitting racecourse for his finale, as it’s the scene of the latest of his nine wins, in September last year. The runes don’t predict a final success, though, as each of his victories has come at a different course.
Nicholls has put a whole range of different jockeys on board his veteran, with such illustrious names as Dettori, Moore, Hughes and Fallon all having a go at one time or another. Indeed, Dettori was on board for those peak performances in 2007. At the other end of the spectrum, he’s helped many apprentice jockeys broaden their experience, including Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell. Tonight, 7lb claimer Kevin Stott takes over, becoming the fourth jockey on the bottom rung of the ladder to ride him.
Nicholls said that the weather would determine whether Indian Trail ran again, as he is a horse that can’t run on soft ground. If the predicted storms come this week, the firm, dry ground he needs will go, and it will be off to retirement. Nicholls will be sorry if he leaves the yard, because, he says, “He’s a legend and all the grandkids love him.” Sounds a bit like the trainer himself.