Adrian Nicholls partnered Regal Parade to a pair of Group 1 successes
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Scott Burton 9:50AM 25 AUG 2016
FEW centurions have the past glories to match those of Regal Parade, a winner of the Haydock Sprint Cup and Prix Maurice de Gheest, as well as having finished first and second in the Ayr Gold Cup.
Trained for most of his heyday by David Nicholls and latterly Milton Bradley, the now 12-year-old is with Charlie Wallis and will line up for the 100th time at Leicester on Thursday.
Regal Parade almost struck on his 99th start and Wallis feels it is only a matter of time before his star inmate gets his head back in front.
“The winner of that race has come out and won again at Brighton,” said Wallis. “I love him to bits and he is just a pleasure to train.”
Like most of us Regal Parade has developed his own ideas about routine over the years.
Wallis said: “He’s happy here and we wrap him up in cotton wool. He has to go out first lot or else he gets sulky. I take him out for a walk and a trot on his own and he pretty much does his own thing.”
‘You would never get past him’
Regal Parade’s two Group 1 successes came under Adrian Nicholls, who on Wednesday recalled two of the biggest days in his career with his old ally.
“I never had a lot to do with him when he first came here and Ahmed [Ajtebi] rode him when he won the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot,” said Nicholls.
“I struck up a relationship with him pretty quickly, winning a Listed race at Chester on him. The Prix Maurice de Gheest was obviously a great moment but I’d have to say the Haydock Sprint Cup, being my first Group 1, was the best.
“What caught a lot of people out was that he would often come off the bridle three out and you would have to stoke him up.
“In France, I think Christophe [Soumillon] thought he had more horse under him than me but I just went past him and once he got his head in front, you would never get past him.”
Nicholls already has several of his father’s retirees at his livery yard, including Bahamian Pirate and Indian Trail but Wallis says Regal Parade is enjoying his working life too much to join them just yet.
“He will tell us when it is time to stop but he still loves racing,” said Wallis. “He is so tough and keeps knocking on the door and has probably been a bit unlucky since joining us.”