Horse RacingJump Racing

Nicky Henderson: “I’d be very confident he won’t be far away”

November 12, 2021January 6th, 2022

It will be quite a quiet weekend for us at Cheltenham simply because some of the horses aren’t quite ready and we haven’t been able to do as much on the grass as we’d have liked so it’s no point running just for the sake of it because it’s a long season and we’ve got Champ in line for the Betfair Chase next Saturday plus plenty of runners at Ascot as well so we still have plenty of time.

I was particularly happy with I Am Maximus at Exeter on Wednesday because things didn’t pan out as we hoped and he had to make all his own running, which isn’t ideal, but still ran a very good race to finish third and he’ll definitely improve plenty for it. He’s a lovely big horse and winning a Novice Hurdle should be a formality next time. Gallyhill was ultimately disappointing and I’m afraid it’s back to the drawing board with him. We were all scratching our heads afterwards because we really thought he could take high rank among our novices this season, perhaps he still could, but he’d need to step up on what we saw in the week so we’ll have him fully checked out and take our time.
Mind Sunday ran very well when second on her hurdles debut and, as with I Am Maximus, I’d be pretty hopeful she’ll pick up a decent novice sooner rather than later.

Doddiethegreat was good at Kempton, albeit still running very green, but when the penny finally dropped he stayed on well and is clearly a very exciting prospect. He was a little keen and made a few small jumping errors but he’s still a big, raw horse with plenty to learn and I’m really looking forward to how far he can go. We won’t rush or over race him too soon so we’ll probably keep him low level for the time being to continue his education before stepping up when we need to. He’s a very nice horse, though.

 

SATURDAY – CHELTENHAM

 

1:05

Another Venture (Mr George Daly)

He’s been bought for George Daly to ride in Amateur races and to be honest I don’t know a great deal about him except to say that he is a lovely horse to have around the place and seems to work well. George is a lovely lad who rides well and three miles on soft ground should be perfect and perhaps a change of scenery might help.

 

2:15

Caribean Boy (Daryl Jacob)

I think this race is made for him and if he can get back to what he did at Newbury first time out last season he comes right into this and has a tremendous chance. This is a race targeted by so many trainers and, as you’d expect for the prize money, it’s extremely competitive, but I’m particularly happy with our horse and he’s been in great form at home. He might be the sort of person to catch first time out which is why this has been the plan for quite some time, and if he can reproduce what he did at Newbury, I’d be very confident he won’t be far away.