Brian Ellison’s Nietzche eyes his own piece of Cheltenham history

BRIAN Ellison’s Nietzsche is aiming for his own little piece of racing history should he win the Paddy Power Gold Cup today.

Nietzsche ridden by Danny McMenamin on their way to victory in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle during day three of the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse.

BRIAN Ellison’s Nietzsche is aiming for his own little piece of racing history should he win the Paddy Power Gold Cup today.

Having already won the Greatwood Hurdle in 2018, he would become the first horse to land the two feature handicaps at Cheltenham’s November meeting.

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Given the Greatwood has been won by a subsequent Champion Hurdle winner and the Paddy Power has been used as a springboard to the Gold Cup, it would be quite an achievement from Ellison to get a horse who has never been rated higher than 137 to win both.

Nietzsche ridden by Danny McMenamin on their way to victory in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle during day three of the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse in 2018.

Effective on the Flat, over hurdles and fences, Nietzsche was last seen running at Catterick on the level in October, when Ellison hopes Danny McMenamin’s mount blew away any cobwebs.

“It would be some achievement if he can pull it off,” said Malton-based Ellison ahead of a race that also features Sue and Harvey Smith’s Midnight Shadow for Yorkshire. “It’s obviously a tough, open race but he’s going there in good fettle.

“We know he likes Cheltenham, he’s won a Greatwood and ran well over fences there over two miles last December and he even ran well at the Festival over three miles when he just didn’t stay. He’s in good form.

“The ground looks like being beautiful so it shouldn’t be an excuse for anyone. He had a run at Catterick and that was just to sharpen him up. He worked well the other day so we just need a bit of luck now.”

Malton trainer Brian Ellison.

Coole Cody returns to defend his crown off a 4lb higher mark, having dug deep to prevail under Tom O’Brien 12 months ago.

Trainer Evan Williams said: “Of course it will be very difficult to go back and reproduce what he did last year, but he runs so well whenever he goes to Cheltenham and it’s just a joy to have a horse that has won a Paddy Power and is going back there to defend his crown.”