Horse RacingJump Racing

Nicky Henderson: “Dai Walters also has Al Dancer for the Supreme so this will tell us a lot more about trip”

February 22, 2019



1:15 Handicap Hurdle

Burrows Edge (Nico de Boinville)

He’s been off since last April so can be expected to improve for the run but this looks an ideal starting place as both his wins have been at this trip and his work has been good. My only concern is the ground as he wouldn’t want it too quick but I’d like to think there may be some improvement in him off 130 and he should go well. He’ll be going chasing next year.


2:25 G2 Adonis Hurdle

Fusil Raffles (Daryl Jacob)

He’s been ready to go for a while but for various reasons, ground, frost and flu, we haven’t found the right race, however, this should be perfect and I’m rather hoping he can emulate Soldatino who won the Triumph after winning the Adonis for the same owners in 2010. The ground won’t be an issue as he’s a good moving horse and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. It looks a good race, but I like what I’ve seen from Fusil Raffles and expect him to put up a bold show. Obviously we’ll know more about whether he’s a genuine Triumph candidate after this.


3:00 G2 Dovecote Hurdle

Angels Breath (Nico de Boinville)

Everybody knows how frustrating the last few weeks have been and this horse has suffered because of it. I was hoping to run him at Newbury but that was called off and then we had to re-vaccinate which meant he had to have an easy day or two after it. But everything is absolutely fine with him now and his work has been excellent. He’s done plenty of schooling and is electric; he’s so fast and accurate over his hurdles – just like an arrow and I honestly don’t think you’ll see a better horse over an obstacle than him! I was looking at going for a small novice somewhere but he would probably have scared much of the opposition away so we opted to come here instead where he’s likely to get a good gallop and gain much more valuable experience, of which he does need. Obviously Dai Walters also has Al Dancer for the Supreme so this will tell us a lot more about whether we need to go up in trip or stick to 2m.

Daphne Du Clos (Noel Fehily)

I was happy with her comeback run at Huntington where she definitely needed it so you’ll see a much different Daphne here. Obviously it’s a very tough race and the Mares’ Novice is where we’d like to end up so I’ll be very pleased to see her run a sound race and then we can start to focus on Cheltenham.


3:35 Handicap Chase

Rather Be (Jerry McGrath)

I’ve been looking forward to stepping him up in trip and this looks a perfect place to do that. He has to have good ground, which he’s got here, and the Handicapper has given him a pound back. Jerry rides Rather Be every day and has been very happy with him over the last few weeks. That Cheltenham run behind Frodon has worked out very well and to be honest I think he has a great chance.


4:45 Bumper

Chantry House (Barry Geraghty)

He won his Point to Point in Ireland and is a horse we think an awful lot of. Any rain in the forecast would be an even bigger help but he’s a particularly nice horse who has done everything I’ve asked of him at home so I’d be pretty hopeful of a very bold show.

Sleight Of Hand (Ned Curtis)

He was third at Wincanton on debut in December and I think that experience will have brought him on plenty. The ground will suit and he should run well.




3:20 Mares’ Novice Hurdle

Lust For Glory (James Bowen)

Her form is very closely matched with a Posh Trish who is developing into a very talented mare and I think this young lady also has plenty of talent. The ground should be ideal and this doesn’t look the strongest of races therefore I’d be disappointed if she isn’t capable of regaining the winning thread.




2:30 Maiden Hurdle

Dickie Diver (Aidan Coleman)

The form of his good second (on debut for us) over course and distance has been given a massive boost by the winner (Lisnagar Oscar) who followed up in a Grade Two at Haydock last week so I’m pretty hopeful this horse can show what we all know he’s capable of. Any rain would be a help but it’s currently Good to Soft so if it stays like that, I wouldn’t be too concerned. His sire, Gold Well, is having a great time of things at the moment and I’m very optimistic that this person can add to his current good form.


3:05 Novices’ Chase

Chef Des Obeaux (Aidan Coleman)

I’m not sure what would have happened last time but he made a clanger of the fourth last and unseated Sean so we’re putting the cheek pieces and going up further in trip. Ideally he would prefer a lot more cut in the ground but this is a small field and he’s clear on ratings, although whether he’s a 149-rated animal I’m not quite sure yet, but he should be able to get into a nice rhythm and his jumping at home has been absolutely fine.


I’ve got two runners at Fontwell on Sunday and Whatswrongwithyou takes his chance in the Novices’ Chase at 2:20. To be honest I had him entered all over the place but opted to run here as ideally I need him to go up a few pounds to secure a run in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual at the festival. Corrany is a very smart horse and I’d be extremely hopeful that he can go close in the Bumper at 4:55.