Horse RacingJump Racing

Nico de Boinville: “Santini loves it around here and this is just his fifth chase start, remember”

January 24, 2020




I was on board when he won over hurdles at Market Rasen earlier in the season and he put a poor Newbury run behind him when at Kempton last time. I know we finished well clear of the third but going up 5lb for finishing second there was a touch on the harsh side, I thought. However, he is still lower than his hurdles mark and if he can build on that on run, on only his fifth start over fences, then hopefully he has chances in a competitive handicap. He has form on soft but he wouldn’t mind it if it dried out a bit more.




A small field but this will still take plenty of winning.  We are very excited to get Santini going again though and, here and now, I’ll be honest and probably settle for a solid comeback effort with plenty to build on, with the Festival in mind, win or lose. Hopefully, we can go there on the back of a victory here though, and certainly the form he showed when splitting Topofthegame and Delta Work in the RSA last season – and after such a troubled preparation, too – suggested we had a Gold Cup horse on our hands. He wasn’t visually impressive when making hard work of his reappearance win at Sandown but he dug deep there and of course he has had a breathing operation since. We have been very happy with his recent work and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do in this company. Certainly, a top-form Bristol De Mai sets a high standard, and there are other improvers in here, too, with Top Ville Ben, De Rasher Counter and Slate House in opposition, but my horse loves it around here and this is just his fifth chase start, remember. He has done a lot of work in preparation for this, and he was very good when I schooled him over five fences on Thursday morning.



William Henry

This is clearly a very hot race, with Paisley Park in here along with the likes of If The Cap Fits as well as other class acts such as L’Ami Serge and Summerville Boy, but William Henry shaped very well on his return and he is certainly not a no-hoper, even in this grade. He obviously put up a high-class handicap performance when winning the Coral Cup off a mark of 151 and I was very happy with his reappearance third in the Relkeel, in which we were giving Summerville Boy 4lb. He clearly needs to progress a good deal to beat the likes of the favourite and he isn’t getting any younger, so we are under no illusions here, but hopefully he will come on a good deal for the Relkeel run and have each-way claims.