Nicholas Gordon ‘Nicky’ Richards is the son of Grand National-winning trainer Gordon W. Richards and took over the running of the yard at Rectory Farm in Greystoke, near Penrith, Cumbria on a temporary licence following the death of his father in 1998. Indeed, Richards Jnr. saddled a winner with his first runner, the aptly-named Better Times Ahead, in a handicap chase at Carlisle in October that year.
Richards rode on the Flat, as an amateur, between 1971 and 1975 and was, in fact, champion amateur rider in 1973, before becoming assistant trainer to his father. His most successful season in the training ranks, numerically and financially, came in 2006/07, when he saddled 64 winners and won over £787,000 in prize money.
His seasonal tally was thanks, in no small part, to the grey Monet’s Garden, who won the Grade One Ascot Chase and the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree in February and April, 2007, respectively. Indeed, Monet’s Garden would become his stable star, winning the Old Roan Chase at Aintree – in which he beat none other than Kauto Star – the following October and twice more, in 2009 and 2010. More recently, Richards saddled Simply Ned to with the Grade One Paddy’s Reward Club Chase at Leopardstown two years running in 2017 and 2018 and enjoyed his biggest payday ever when Takingrisks won the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr in 2019.