Rain leaves champion trainer Nicholls taking evasive action

Several horses at champion trainer Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat base in Somerset had to be moved from their stables on Thursday evening as heavy rain in the area flooded part of their yard.

Nicholls described the rain as a “once in a 15-year event”, but was able to report on Friday morning that as quick as the flood appeared it had soon receded.

Racing is scheduled for Wincanton on Saturday, Nicholls’ local track, but officials are confident racing will take place and the handler echoes their optimism given how quickly the water disappeared.

“It’s a once in a 15-year event really when you get so much rain in the area through Somerset and Wiltshire and it all ends up coming down the rivers,” Nicholls told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

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“We are right by the River Aller and as everything backs up and the river bursts its banks everywhere, all the drainage in the village and in our yard just backs up and our bottom yard floods.

“We have six or eight horses that when it gets like we have to move out and at 10.30pm last night we were having to move them out.

“Astonishingly once the water levels drop it’s like someone pulls a plug, it just disappears and it’s all gone today.

“The problem is higher up, they get so much rain it feeds into the river and nothing can cope. It’s just sheer volume of water.

“I must say I’ve never seen rain like it, or water on the roads, last night. I took my dad to the pub last and I basically had to rescue him, it took an hour to get home and it’s basically half a mile down the road. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it’s all good this morning.

“It doesn’t surprise me Wincanton might race as there was so much water it just ran straight off, it didn’t get chance to sink in.”

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