Tag Archive for: Adam Nicol

Adam Nicol looking forward to tilt at big all-weather prizes with Wise Eagle

Adam Nicol has his eye on a valuable prize at his local track with stable flag-bearer Wise Eagle.

The chestnut has been a model of consistency since joining Nicol’s newly-established yard, providing him with his first ever winner as a trainer at Newcastle in January last year and going on to win seven more races.

Only finishing out of the top two twice in 13 runs for his new connections, the Free Eagle gelding has plied his trade successfully both on turf and the all-weather.

Beginning the current campaign with a fourth-placed run on Newcastle’s Tapeta surface, the five-year-old was victorious at the same track on Thursday afternoon when taking the Read Katie Walsh On Betway Insider Handicap by a neck.

Nicol – who enjoyed a famous partnership with the hugely popular mare Lady Buttons in his riding days – now has All-Weather Championships Finals Day, again at Newcastle, in mind for the horse, who will need to run once more on an artificial surface to gain eligibility.

“He ran a blinder first time out and today there was a drop in pace, but he’s done it quite cosily in the end,” he said.

“It’s only his second run of the season and we’d run him 16 days ago, he’s come on for the run.

“I’ve got to get another run into him so he might go to Southwell or Wolverhampton, as you either have to win a qualifier or you have to have three all-weather runs this season to qualify.”

Nicol is based is Seahouses, by the North Northumberland coast, as are the Seahouses Syndicate that own Wise Eagle and count Newcastle as their local track.

“We’re local and they’re local lads that own him, it’s only 45 minutes down the road, so when I heard they were bringing the all-weather championships to Newcastle I thought ‘well this lad’s won twice over two miles round Newcastle, let’s try to get him qualified’,” he said.

“It’s great prize-money to have a go at and I never thought I’d get to this point with him. I thought I might not have a horse for a long time that was good enough to run in that type of race, so we might as well give it a go.”

The valuable finals day meeting on Good Friday is the immediate aim, but beyond that connections have an eye on the revered Northumberland Plate Handicap run on the same track in summer.

“Thinking a bit ahead, the lads are joking and mentioning the Northumberland Plate, but the way he’s going he might be able to get an entry and sneak in off the low 90s,” said Nicol.

“He’s won off 87 today, I’d imagine he’s going to go up to 90 or 91, last year bottom-weight was 93 in the Northumberland Plate so it could be touch and go, but the main aim is the all-weather finals on Good Friday.”

Wise Eagle is a stable star for Nicol’s yard and he credits Tom Clover, the horse’s previous handler, for identifying that he would benefit from a more varied workload.

He said: “He was my first winner, he’s won seven for me now, he’s been second four times and he’s only been out of the first two twice in 13 runs.

“He doesn’t do a lot in front but he always does just enough!

“Credit to Tom Clover who used to train him, we got him cheap for 7,000 guineas in October 2020 in Newmarket.

“He said the horse just needs a change of scenery and that he was a little bit sick of Newmarket gallops.

“We’ve taken him on the beach, we’ve installed a furlong and a half sand ring gallop with Wexford sand, which is great for their stamina.

“We try to swap it up, we do our fast work on Rose Dobbin’s gallops, she’s a few minutes up the road and we’re very grateful that she lets us do it.

“He loves it, this lad’s past three days have all been different prior to running here, he just loves life. I couldn’t have asked for a better horse to start me off.”

Adam Nicol secures maiden training success

Adam Nicol was thrilled to open his account as a trainer with just his third runner as Wise Eagle claimed a narrow victory at Newcastle.

The 31-year-old called time on his riding career last spring after suffering a string of serious injuries, including a broken hand and a badly broken leg, before fracturing vertebrae in his back in a heavy fall at Sedgefield on Boxing Day of 2019.

Despite the setbacks, Nicol enjoyed several big-race triumphs aboard Phil Kirby’s star mare Lady Buttons, steering her to 12 of 15 victories overall.

Reflecting on decision to quit the saddle, Nicol said: “I decided to call it a day during the first lockdown last year.

“I just felt that having had so many injuries during the previous couple of years, enough was enough.

“In this game, as a jockey, the longer you’re out, the sooner you’re forgotten.

“I rode at Market Rasen not long before the lockdown and I just felt it would be good to leave on my terms.

“I managed to come back from every injury and I was delighted with how my riding career went. A career after being a jockey is a lot longer than being a jockey, so when the opportunity to came up to start training, I took it.”

Nicol had previously sent out just two runners, with Velkera pulling up at Hexham last month before Wise Eagle outran odds of 66-1 to finish second on his hurdling debut at Catterick less than a week later.

Switching back to the level on a ‘jumpers bumpers’ card at Gosforth Park, Wise Eagle was a 7-1 shot in the hands of Craig Nichol, and displayed a willing attitude to see off the strong-travelling Dear Sire by a short head.

Nicol added: “I’m delighted – I couldn’t have asked for a better start. We’ve got three horses in training – my mum owns the yard in Seahouses in Northumberland. I’ve had four stables and the plan is to have another four, but we’re just going to stay small.

“This horse ran a blinder at Catterick. I’m not sure what happened, but he came back with a big hematoma on his leg, so I thought he ran very well considering. We’ve had him in the sea since then, which has helped with the hematoma.

“The owners were asking what to expect today. You can get some strange results in these jumpers bumpers, but I just said to them that he’d won at Lingfield, so at least we knew he handled a synthetic surface and he was fit enough.

“We’ll see how he is, but we might go back over hurdles at Catterick on February 5 or Musselburgh on February 7. There’s no mad panic.”

Despite coming up narrowly short aboard Dear Sire, champion jockey Brian Hughes still enjoyed a treble on the card.

Hughes first struck gold aboard the Gillian Boanas-trained Susie Mac (3-1), who was making it third time lucky off the back of a 576-day absence, having finished second twice in 2019 when trained by Kevin Ryan.

He doubled up half an hour later on Donald McCain’s 4-1 chance Presentandcounting, before completing his hat-trick aboard the Cholmondeley-based trainer’s Armattiekan (6-1) in the final race.