Paul Nicholls' yard 'devastated' after top horse Iceo suffered fatal injury at Sandown | The Sun

PAUL NICHOLLS said his Ditcheat yard is 'devastated' after top horse Iceo suffered a fatal injury at Sandown.

The Chris Giles-owned five-year-old was pulled up quickly by jockey Lorcan Williams during the Grade 1 Betfair Henry VIII Novices' Chase.

Iceo, who had won four of his ten career starts and more than £100,000 in prize money, had been sent off 7-2 for the big race.

But his sad death cast a cloud over an otherwise brilliant weekend for Nicholls.

The 14-time champion trainer told Betfair: "We had an amazing weekend but the fatal injury to Iceo put a dampener on everything.

"We all feel for Chris and Deborah Giles – it's very sad when that sort of thing happens.

"Everyone in the yard – and Sasha who looks after him – is obviously devastated.

"Away from that sad incident we had a fantastic time."

Jockey Williams paid his own tribute to the horse, writing on X: "A horse very close to my heart, I'll miss him very much. Thanks Ice cube."

One punter who watched the race said the incident 'was one of the saddest things I've seen' while another said they were 'genuinely heartbroken' to learn of the death.

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Aside from that there were four winners for Nicholls on Saturday, including the hugely exciting Isaac Des Obeaux at Chepstow.

Owned in part by Sir Alex Ferguson, he is related to Clan Des Obeaux and was put up by the trainer as his best Saturday chance.

Liari, Sonigino and Truckers Lodge were also successful at Sandown and Aintree, while Brown Adivsory fav Stay Away Fay was brilliant in winning the Betfair Esher Novices' Chase on Friday.

A word of warning for anyone looking to take the 20s about Liari for the Triumph, however.

Nicholls said the French import, who is two from two over hurdles, is 'unlikely' to go to the Festival.

He said: "A proper big strong horse, he wants time.

"My view is he will have an entry for the Triumph but that will be unlikely, I don't think that's his race.

"We're going to go for the Adonis at Kempton and then Aintree. He doesn't want too much this year, he's one for the future."

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