SIR ALEX Ferguson has heaped praise on Paul Nicholls who is set to be crowned champion trainer for a twelfth time.
Nicholls topped his own record for the number of winners this year with a whopping 172.
His Ditcheat team have raked in over £2.3 million in prize money this season with Sandown's Bet365 Jumps Finale still to come this weekend.
And Fergie – who has stars Monmiral and Clan Des Obeaux trained by Nicholls – even compared the trainer to himself.
He said: "To achieve the results Paul has this season without any absolute superstars is a testament to him and the team.
"A couple of things always impress me about him. One is that I am always amazed by his hunger.
"People often say we are alike and I think there is some truth in that.
"If you’re like Paul, you’re never really satisfied and no matter what you achieve, you’re always looking forward to the next challenge."
Nicholls could still add to his tally of winners with the likes of Frodon and Enrilo to run at Sandown.
However, Fergie's Clan Des Obeaux is set for the Punchestown Gold Cup after his latest Aintree romp.
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Nicholls said: "You always want to better what you've done and to get the record in a short season is really good.
"It's been a 10-month season, rather than 12 months, so it's a good effort by everybody.
"It's been a fine season and we've won a lot of good races and won a lot of prize-money."
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