Nicholas Richards, born in 1956, is a British racehorse trainer specialising mainly in National Hunt racing. Based out of his stables at Greystoke, near Penrith, Cumbria, he began his career as a jockey and was British champion amateur flat jockey in 1973.
He followed this up as assistant trainer to his father, the legendary figure of the Turf Gordon Richards, and took over the training licence when his father died in 1998. In October 1998 he sent out his first winner, Better Times Ahead, at Carlisle Racecourse.
Nicky, heir to the Richards racing empire, perhaps lives in the shadow of his father, who as a trainer, with the exception of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, captured all the major chasing honours including the King George VI Chase (three times) and the Grand National twice with Lucius and Hallo Dandy – in 1978 and 1984 respectively.
Running the yard was not initially easy for Richards though and in his first year the yard was afflicted with a virus. He braved on and his first Grand National runner Feels Like Gold, which went from 150-1 to 50-1, in 1999, did well to finish fifth from far out of the handicap.
Feels Like Gold ran again in 2000 and finished 14th and in was re-entered in 2001 despite not having been raced for the twenty weeks before due to the foot and mouth outbreak and unfortunately refused at the 8th and ended up being part of the massive pile up at the Canal Turn. That was also his last race.
Things turned around for Richards in the 2002/03 season when he had 36 winners from his 60 horse yard but he hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to the Grand National. His two entries in 2006 Big-And-Bold and Direct Access only ended up with the latter making it to the line up, and he was pulled up before the nineteenth.
2007 saw Richards with two entries again – Ransboro and Turpin Green, the former was cut due to being only nine stone twelve pounds while the later was withdrawn after finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, racing instead in the Betfair Bowl Chase where he disappointingly finished fifth and in 2011 he entered Skippers Brig who finished 9th with jockey Dominic Elsworth on board.
The most successful horse he has trained to date is Monet’s Garden, winner of the Ascot Chase, Melling Chase and Old Roan Chase in 2007. The grey won his third Old Roan Chase in 2010 having also won it in 2009.