Grand National Jockey: Nico de Boinville

3 January 2020
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Nico de Boinville has winners trophies from the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Arkle and the Supreme Novices Hurdle, among many other notable victories. However, as of yet, he hasn’t shined in the Aintree showpiece – the Grand National.

This page takes a look at Nico’s career to date. It examines who he rides for and which horses have brought him the most success. In addition, we analyse him as a Grand National jockey to see if he has the makings of a future winner.

Nico de Boinville: Career Path

Ever since Nico de Boinville was a child, he was obsessed with riding. At the age of 9, he was Supreme Champion in Horse of the Year Show. He knew that this was something he’d like to do in his life.

After dropping out of university in his first year, Nico de Boinville teamed up with five-time British jump racing trainer Nicky Henderson in 2009. He only had a handful of races in those early years though, and it wasn’t until the 2011/12 season when he made his first trip to the winner’s enclosure.

Nico de Boinville Grand National

As well as riding for Henderson, de Boinville formed a successful partnership with trainer Mark Bradstock. He rode the Bradstock-trained Coneygree to victory in the Grade 2 Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase in November 2014 and followed that up a month later with victory in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. The scene was now set. In March 2015, Nico de Boinville and Coneygree landed one of the biggest prizes in jump racing – the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

This started his Cheltenham love affair. A year later (2016) he won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle onboard Altior, and with the same horse, he went on to win the Arkle in 2017 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2018 and 2019. The fantastic Sprinter Sacre and Pentland Hills are another two horses which Nico has steered to Cheltenham Festival victories.

Not all of Nico’s victories have come in the UK and Ireland. In 2019, he crossed the Atlantic with Nicky Henderson’s horse, Brain Power, to win the American Grand National (formerly known as the Breeders’ Cup Grand National).

Nico de Boinville: Personal Profile

Nicolai ‘Nico’ de Boinville was born in 1989. Although he bears a French surname, Nico was born and raised in England. He attended the Bradfield College in Berkshire from 2002 to 2007. This is an independent boarding school for boys, after which he went on to study at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Initially, he was going to favour politics in his studies. However, he left during his first year because he wanted to pursue his career as a jockey and be fully dedicated to it. All in all, that dedication has really paid off.

Most Important Wins

Nico de Boinville won the Cheltenham Gold Cup while still a conditional jockey, which is a stellar achievement. Here are some of his other notable wins:

YearRaceHorse
2015Cheltenham Gold CupConeygree
2015Kauto Star Novices’ ChaseConeygree
2015Liverpool HurdleWhisper
2016Supreme Novices’ HurdleAltior
2016Queen Mother Champion ChaseSprinter Sacre
2016Celebration ChaseSprinter Sacre
2017Arkle Challenge TrophyAltior
2017Celebration ChaseAltior
2017King George VI ChaseMight Bite
2017Mildmay Novices’ ChaseMight Bite
2017RSA Insurance Novices’ ChaseMight Bite
2018Betway BowlMight Bite
2018Christmas HurdleVerdana Blue
2018Queen Mother Champion ChaseAltior
2018Sefton Novices’ HurdleSantini
2018Tingle Creek ChaseAltior
2019American Grand NationalBrain Power
2019Clarence House ChaseAltior
2019Queen Mother Champion ChaseAltior
2019Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ HurdlePentland Hills

His Cheltenham record speaks for itself, but how about Nico de Boinville – Grand National jockey? Up to 2019, he has ridden in three Nationals. His first two appearances on Hadrian’s Approach (2016) and Cocktails At Dawn (2017) saw him fall at the 1st fence. He fared slightly better in 2019 while riding Step Back. On this occasion, he made it to the 25th fence before his horse pulled up.

Nico still has time on his side to one day become a Grand National-winning jockey and if he continues riding big race winners, he will surely get plenty of chances on good horses to do just that.

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