I’m worth £350million aged 29 – my ‘substantial’ Cheltenham Festival bet will show you all I’m amazing at making money
RACEHORSE owner Grant Nicholson literally lit up Wembley after injury dashed his ambition of being a first-class cricketer.
Now an entrepreneur in the renewable energy market, the 29-year-old will be glowing and bowled over if his star horse Jason The Militant pulls off one of the greatest-ever shocks and wins the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival.
Grant NicholsonGrant Nicholson dreams of emulating former Man Utd owner JP McManus[/caption]
The nine-year-old – a Listed winner on the flat in Ireland and rated as high as 107 – was snapped up for £50,000 by Yorkshire trainer Philip Kirby for Nicholson in December.
Bookies have the former Henry De Bromhead inmate as a 150-1 shot for glory on Tuesday, the opening day of the Festival.
Nicholson, who has had a ‘substantial’ bet at those odds, reckons they have got it all wrong about the front-running bay, who won a Grade 2 hurdle at Naas two years ago.
And he is certain the wintry forecast will be right up his massive outsider’s street.
He said: “It seems like the previous owners liked to run him on the Flat, which is strange because he likes soft ground.
“The Beast From The East 2.0 seems to be around the corner – I am obviously aware of that because of the industry I am in – so we could get that sort of ground.
Most read in Horse Racing
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL
“I think 150-1 is extremely high, because we know what we have got. To say I like a gamble would be a good description.
“If the ground goes soft, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of the more fancied horses don’t run.
“Then all of a sudden you’ve got Constitution Hill, who obviously is an amazing horse, but if you run into a good second at 150-1 it’s a nice touch.”
Victory for Jason The Militant would be the latest chapter in a very colourful life for Leeds-based Nicholson.
On Durham’s books as a fast bowler, he quit the game aged 19 after his Achilles snapped.
His only entry in the record books are 32 wicketless overs and one run playing for Cambridge University against Essex ten years ago.
Nicholson said: “It was quite a tough decision at such a young age but I was always interested in business, and if you were going to make a pot of money, you may as well get cracking early doors.
“I was interested in trading the markets and I was making very good money doing that while I was playing.”
Nicholson showed an ability to ‘make very good money’ at an early age. At York’s Ebor meeting with his dad Andy when he was 14, he spotted women walking around barefooted on glass-strewn ground after they’d taken off their heels.
Explaining his cunning plan, he said: “I borrowed a bit of money off my old man and bought 20,000 pairs of flip-flops from China. I think I was buying them for £1.20 and selling them at the track for £6.99 a pair or two for a tenner.”
All the details on Cheltenham Festival 2023 from tickets to cost of a pint
Another early venture saw him secure a £40m contract to supply the LED lights in and around Wembley.
He said: “The lighting business was a very good company that sold for a nice turn at a very young age.
“My world now is just focused on renewable projects and investing my money into all sorts of businesses, all the way from professional services companies to a high-tech battery start-up.”
There was a bump in the road when his company Planet U had to be put into liquidation but his current venture, Rainman Collateral, filed accounts that showed £9m profit last year.
He said: “I just focus, and let’s be honest, on how I can make as much profit – while also providing lasting change for the world.”
Wikipedia list Nicholson’s wealth at £350m. “On a good day that would be about right, on a bad day it would be about £30m,” he laughed.
“It was my dad who got me into racing at an early age, although he’s not as interested in it as me.
“It’s just a passion, I just love it and if I can become in any way, shape or form half as successful as JP [billionaire Irish owner J P McManus, who has over 4,000 winners] I’ll be a very happy man,” he added.
FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
Never chases their losses
Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org