Unibet Ambassador and top trainer, Nicky Henderson OBE gives an update on running plans of various stable stars plus a look at his weekend runners, including Pentland Hills in The New One Unibet Hurdle
"...His work has been very good and I really fancy him to run a very big race...”
OUR HORSES are continuing to run well and I have to admit I was particularly impressed with Shiskin, who won easily at Newbury on Wednesday. He’s a horse we’ve always thought a great deal of and it was unfortunate that he fell on his hurdles debut, but he bounced back beautifully, jumping and travelling very well to win in good style. To be honest, we would have been disappointed if he wasn’t capable of winning as he was taking on (and subsequently beat) a horse who’d previously finished second to one of ours, Mister Coffey, so we thought the form was pretty good.
Nico suggested he’ll be suited but two and a half but he showed a very good turn of foot and quickened up well on that ground. He’s no mudlark by any means and could be even better on good ground. He’ll be given entries in both the Ballymore and Supreme but he’ll have to run again before Cheltenham so we may look at something like the Dovecote at Kempton in a few weeks time.
Flinteur Sacre ran a very good race in the Bumper and will improve plenty for the experience. He was still quite green in the finish and probably doing a little too much during the race but he’s definitely a work in progress and Barry gave him a lovely introduction.
Never Adapt won the Handicap at Kempton last Saturday and the whole idea is educating her, getting her to relax and put her to sleep which Barry was able to do. She didn’t win by that far, but clearly the Handicapper was impressed as he put her up 10lbs to a mark of 140! She’s ready for a step up in grade now and has an entry in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury so in all probability, we might well go there but it’s certainly not set in stone as we have quite a few entries in the race.
Mister Fisher was going to run at Haydock in the G2 Novice Chase but the ground will be very heavy and that isn’t what he wants at this stage, so we’ll take stock and weigh up our options. Perhaps the Scilly Isles is a possibility.
It’s Festival Trials day at Cheltenham next Saturday and we should have a few representing @sevenbarrows including Santini in the Cotswold Chase. He’s fully over his small wind operation and he's been in very good form at home. Billy rides him most days and Nico worked him this morning and they’re both happy so it’s all systems go for him. Time Flies By is another who will probably head to Prestbury Park.
3:15pm - G2 The New One Unibet Hurdle
Pentland Hills (Nico de Boinville)
I was extremely pleased with his first run of the season in the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham, where he travelled very much like the winner, but just blew up two out yet still finished the race very well.
His greatest asset is his jumping and he schooled excellently on Thursday morning, so I couldn’t be happier with him going into this race. It’s obviously going to be very hard work for them out there and he won’t have encountered conditions like it before, but he won on soft on the flat and his sire (Motivator) and dam both won on soft ground too, so hopefully, he’ll cope with it. It’s the same for everyone and he’s there to give it his best shot
12:40pm - Juvenile Hurdle
Homer (Daryl Jacob)
He came over to us in the autumn from France and made a pleasing debut over hurdles at Kempton where he jumped ok, but made a mistake at the last which certainly didn’t help, as he still might have won. He schooled over five hurdles yesterday and was absolutely fine and is in very good form at home. Goshen has looked very good so far and he’ll be tough to beat, but our horse will handle the ground and will hopefully put up a decent show.
2:25 - G3 Handicap Hurdle
Soul Emotion (Jerry McGrath)
He’s gradually coming back to himself and I was very pleased with his latest run at Newbury when he was third, giving plenty of weight to the winner and second horse. He’ll have no issue with the ground, his work has been very good and I really fancy him to run a very big race.
4:05pm - Novices Hurdle
Falco Blitz (Jerry McGrath)
He didn’t stay three miles at Cheltenham last time so we’re coming back down to 2m5f which is right up his street. He’s clear on ratings and I think he’ll go extremely close.
Article by Trainer and Unibet Ambassador Nicky Henderson and used with kind permission by the Unibet Blog.
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