NICKY HENDERSON GOES INTO THIS 2011 FESTIVAL WITH A STRONG TEAM AND IS PLEASED THAT THE HORSES ARE RUNNING WELL
THE FESTIVAL'S LEADING CURRENT TRAINER, WITH 37 SUCCESSES, SAID “JANUARY was an amazing month for us and then a few got beaten. The margin between absolutely firing and just getting beaten is very thin.
“The horses are in top form again and last weekend was good. By and large the horses have had their final outings before Cheltenham and now we are hoping they don’t have problems before The Festival
“It is nice to have a winner on the first day as that relaxes you. We have had realistic challengers all along for the Champion Hurdle but Long Run is my best chance of having a Gold Cup winner. The Gold Cup is very much missing off my list (of winners)
“The whole year hinges on the four days of The Festival.”
BINOCULA goes for a second successive Stan James Champion Hurdle victory on the opening day of The Festival, Tuesday, March 15, Centenary Day.
“AP (15-time champion jockey Tony McCoy) is coming over next on Friday to partner BINOCULAR and will school him next week.
“BINOCULAR has been checked over since he last ran, from head to toe, and everybody has given him complete ticks all along the line.
“I don’t know why he ran the way he did (winning but not impressively) though if Ruthenoise made the running they cannot have been going very fast!
“It certainly looks a very open Champion Hurdle and the horses in it appear very good. Looking at the re-run of this season’s Fighting Fifth and I would not be surprised if PEDDLERS CROSS, who won that day, is still the one we will be frightened come the day
“I do think the other one we have to be afraid of is HURRICAN FLY who looks the best of a strong Irish challenge.
“AP was delighted with BINOCULAR'S first run of the season at Newbury in the Fighting Fifth - BINOCULAR blew up at the last as he came to win the race and if he had been the same as he was at Kempton (in winning the William Hill Christmas Hurdle well) on his next start he would have won at Newbury.
“He would have been better off blowing up at the second last and AP would have been able to sit on him for 100 yards before the horse got his second wind. There was not time to get back at Newbury and AP was able to look after him.
“I probably wish I had not gone to Sandown now for £8,000 because all it has done is to sow doubts in people’s minds. We had decided that it would be better to have a race rather continue galloping at home.”
Turning to LONG RUN, the impressive winner of the William Hill King George VI Chase, who goes for the £500,000 totesport.com Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, March 18, Henderson commented: “He must be our best chance of winning a Gold Cup by quite a long way I suspect. MARLBOROUGH was knocking on the door.
“It does not worry me that he has been beaten twice at Cheltenham. Nothing went right in the RSA Chase at The Festival last year for him - we had an inkling the week before because of his coat and general demeanour that he had gone. I will tell you in a week’s time if he has this year but at the moment everything is going well.
“There is no doubt the priority of the season was Kempton because nobody denies that Kempton is the perfect place for him. What was so good at Kempton was the rhythm he got into and I can see no reason why he cannot do that Cheltenham.
“In the Paddy Power over two miles, five furlongs, the experienced handicappers going lickety split just got him out of his comfort zone early on and therefore the rhythm just did not come into it. We have worked on that quite a lot and so has Sam (Long Run’s amateur rider, Sam Waley-Cohen) and Yogi (Breisner). We have another session with Yogi next week in an indoor school - not ours - and previous ones definitely helped him.
“We know what we have to do in the build-up and I am not worried about Cheltenham. The RSA was not great last year but it had been a long campaign and we took in the Kingmaker over two miles which shows how much natural talent he has
“He is very young for the Gold Cup but that is the French way. There is nothing else we can do after winning the King George. I would not bring him back in trip for the Ryanair because he stays. He gallops and gallops and gallops - he wasn’t stopping at Kempton."
For Nicky Henderson’s comments on other Festival horses, please see below.
For further information, please contact Cheltenham Racecourse’s Communications Manager Andy Clifton on 07876 330 090
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONNICKY HENDERSON has remained at the top of his profession after nearly 33 years with a training licence and he heads into The Festival at Cheltenham this year with arguably a stronger team than ever before.
HENDERSON is the most successful current trainer at The Festival with 37 successes and second on the all-time list, three wins behind the great Fulke Walwyn. Alongside Peter Easterby, he is jointly the most successful trainer in the history of the Stan James Champion Hurdle with five wins (See You Then 1985, 1986 & 1987, Punjabi 2009 and Binocular).
He has clinched the Thomas Pink Award as leading or joint-leading trainer at The Festival on eight occasions, most recently in 2010 with three successes. He also topped the ranks in 2000 (four wins), 1993 (joint - two wins), 1992 (joint - two wins), 1990 (two wins), 1987 (joint - two wins), 1986 (three wins) and 1985 (three wins).
Henderson was born in Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950, and his late father Johnny founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the Jockey Club subsidiary (and forerunner of Jockey Club Racecourses), which saved Cheltenham Racecourse and now has 14 courses under its umbrella. Henderson was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College and spent time working for city stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting his career full-time to racing.
He made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown’s Imperial Cup in the same year. His 50th win as an amateur was Strange Love at Folkestone on October 3, 1977, and his final ride was the victorious Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978, his 78th success.
He had become assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and took out his own training licence in July, 1978, replacing Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn. It did not take long for Henderson to establish himself as one of the leading members of his profession, landing the jump trainers' title in both 1985/6 and 1986/7.
In 1992, Henderson moved his string to Seven Barrows stables in Lambourn in a straight swap with trainer Peter Walwyn. That same year saw Henderson added to the royal trainers’ list with the Queen Mother sending him three horses, including New Zealand Grand National winner Nearco Bay. The Queen is still among his owners.
As well as his Stan James Hurdle Champion Hurdle successes, Henderson’s major winners at The Festival include Remittance Man in the 1992 sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase as well as Rustle (1989) and Bacchanal (2000) in what is now the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Soldatino’s victory in the 2010 JCB Triumph Hurdle was Henderson’s fifth in the race after First Bout (1985), Alone Success (1987), Katarino (1999) and Zaynar (2009). He has also won what is now the Byrne Group Plate on four occasions with The Tsarevich (1985 & 1986), Liberthine (2005) and Non So (2006).
At The Festival in 2006, Henderson landed an emotional triumph in the race named to commemorate his father, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, with Greenhope. Although he has yet to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup or John Smith’s Grand National, he has won most other major jump races at some stage. He also enjoyed success in several big Flat races including the totesport Cesarewitch (2003 Landing Light, 2008 Caracciola), Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot (2009 Caracciola) and the Goodwood Stakes (2010 Ghimaar). His first Flat success in Britain came with his first runner, Thinking Twice, at Newmarket in April, 1993.
Mick Fitzgerald was his long-time stable jockey until retirement in 2008, when Barry Geraghty took over. Geraghty splits his time between Britain and his home in Ireland, and has continued in as successful a vein as his predecessor.
Henderson sent out his best over total of 136 winners last season, 21 more than champion trainer Paul Nicholls, to finish second in the trainer’s championship (decided on prize money), and celebrated his 2,000th Jump winner when Punchestowns triumphed in a graduation chase at Kempton on February 11, 2011. He is numerically the most successful trainer this season with 116 wins up to last night.
NICKY HENDERSON'S HAS A SCORE TO-DATE OF 37 WINNERS AT THE FESTIVAL.JCB Triumph Hurdle: 1985 First Bout,1987 Alone Success,1999 Katarino, 2009 Zaynar, 2010 Soldatino
Stan James Champion Hurdle: 1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular
The Irish Independent Arkle Chase: 1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev
sportingbet.com Queen Mother champion Chase: 1992 Remitance Man
Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle: 1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown
Cathcart Chase: 1990 Brown Windsor, 1994 Raymylette, 1999 & 2000 Stormyfairweather
Ladbrokes World Hurdle: 1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal
Byrne Group Plate: 1985 & 1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine, 2006 Non So
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase: 1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur
Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle: 1993 Thumbs Up, 1997 Barna Boy
Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase: 2000 Marlborough
RSA Chase: 2005 Trabolgan
Ryanair Chase: 2006 Fondmort
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase: 2006 Greenhope
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle: 2009 Andytown
Coral Cup: 2010 Spirit River
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINERS OF ALL-TIME AT THE FESTIVAL
40 Fulke Walwyn (Winners from 1946-86)
37 NICKY HENDERSON (1985- )
34 Martin Pipe (1981-2006)
28 Fred Winter (1970-88)
27 Paul Nicholls (1999- )
26 Tom Dreaper IRE (1946-71)
25 Fred Rimell (1948-81)
23 Vincent O’Brien IRE (1948-59)
23 Bob Turnell (1956-80)
22 Ivor Anthony (1930-52)
19 George Beeby (1930-59)
18 Edward O’Grady IRE (1974- )
HE MOST SUCCESSFUL CURRENT TRAINERS AT THE FESTIVAL
37 NICKY HENDERSON27 Paul Nicholls
18 Edward O'Grady IRE
17 Willie Mullins IRE
17 Jonjo O’Neill
13 Philip Hobbs
13 Nigel Twiston-Davies
11 Alan King
9 David Elsworth
9 Ferdy Murphy
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINERS IN THE STAN JAMES CHAMPION HURDLE5 Peter Easterby (1967 Saucy Kit, 1976 and 1977 Night Nurse, 1980 and 1981 Sea Pigeon)
NICKY HENDERSON (1985, 1986 and 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular)
4 Vic Smyth (1941 Seneca, 1942 Forestation, 1947 and 1948 National Spirit)
Fred Winter (1971 and 1972 Bula, 1974 Lanzarote, 1988 Celtic Shot)
3 Colin Davies (1968, 1969 and 1970 Persian War)
Aidan O’Brien IRE (1998, 1999 and 2000 Istabraq)
Vincent O’Brien IRE (1949, 1950 and 1951 Hatton’s Grace)
Ryan Price (1955 Clair Soleil, 1959 Fare Time, 1961 Eborneezer)
Willie Stephenson (1952, 1953 and 1954 Sir Ken)
NICKY HENDERSON’S ENTRIES AT THE FESTIVAL SO FAR
TUESDAY MARCH 15
Likely runners highlighted in bold, with possible runners in italics
Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Pippa Greene, Gibb River, Brunston, Minella Class, Sprinter Sacre, Kid Cassidy, Spirit Son
The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy
Finian’s Rainbow, Bellvano, Giorgio Quercus
Stan James Champion Hurdle
Binocular, Zaynar, Oscar Whisky, Soldatino, Solix
Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase
Carole’s Legacy, Quantitativeeasing, Radium
Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase
Aigle D’Or, Kerada, Nadiya De La Vega, Osric, Quantitativeeasing, Rackham Lerouge, Shakalakaboomboom
Stan James Champion Hurdle
Binocular, Zaynar, Oscar Whisky, Soldatino, Solix
Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase
Carole’s Legacy, Quantitativeeasing, Radium
Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase
Aigle D’Or, Kerada, Nadiya De La Vega, Osric, Quantitativeeasing, Rackham Lerouge, Shakalakaboomboom
WEDNESDAY MARCH 16
141st Year of The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
Bai Zhu, Be There In Five, Quantitativeeasing
Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Minella Class, Prince Of Pirates, Bobs Worth, Cavite Beta, Sprinter Sacre, Mossley
Master Of The Hall
sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase
French Opera, Mad Max
Aegean Dawn, Busker Royal, El Mondo, First Point, Lord Ragnar, Radium, Solix, Voy Por Ustedes, Working Title
Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle
A Media Luz, Celtus, Molotof, Titan De Sarti
THURSDAY MARCH 17
Jewson Novices’ Chase
Aigle D’Or, Mr Gardner, Radium, Surfing
Barbers Shop, Busker Royal, First Point, Larks Lad, Lush Life, Working Title
Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Punchestowns, Zaynar, Oscar Whisky
Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase)
Aigle D’Or. Dave’s Dream, Polyfast, Quantitativeeasing, Working Title, You’re The Top
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Bai Zhu, Horner Woods, Quantitativeeasing
FRIDAY MARCH 18
JCB Triumph Hurdle
Higgy’s Ragazzo, Moose Moran, Grandouet, Celtus, A Media Luz, Titan De Sarti, Molotof
Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle
Aegean Dawn, Bellvano, El Mondo, Eradicate, Remember Now, Soldatino, Solix, Voy Por Ustedes
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Bobs Worth, Mossley, Loose Performer
totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
Long Run, Punchestowns
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
Busker Royal, Celtus, Cucumber Run, El Mondo, First Point, Higgy’s Boy, Larks Lad, Lord Ragnar, Monetary Fund, Radium, Whoops A Daisy, You’re The Top
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap)
Anquetta, French Opera, Giorgio Quercus, Mad Max, Osric, Pepsyrock, Tanks For That, Voy Por Ustedes
A MEDIA LUZ (FR)
4 b f Johann Quatz (FR) - Immensement (FR) (Garde Royale)Purchased privately by Richard Kelvin Hughes last summer, A Media Luz had previously showed a high level of form on the Flat in France for her former trainer Yannick Fouin. She dead-heated for second in an 11-furlong Group Three at Saint-Cloud in April, 2010, and was sixth behind Sarafina in the Group One Prix de Diane at Chantilly two months later. Bookmakers installed A Media Luz as favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle as early as September but she disappointed on her debut over timber at Cheltenham on December 11, when she eased down to come home seventh behind Sam Winner. She built on that effort when second behind stable companion Grandouet in another juvenile novices’ hurdle at Newbury on December 29 but blotted her copybook on her next start at Kempton on January 15 when falling at the penultimate flight with the race at her mercy. She got off the mark at Huntingdon on February 10, when posting a facile 18-length success, and could go for the Grade Three Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival.
Jump Form: 72F1 Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes Breeder: Dr Roger-Yves & Dr Nathalie Simon
Jump Form: 72F1 Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes Breeder: Dr Roger-Yves & Dr Nathalie Simon
Nicky Henderson said: “I was trying to move her up 3lb in the ratings but got 18lb! She is now on 138 and is now more likely to go for the Triumph Hurdle.”
Jump Race Record: Starts: 4; Wins: 1; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £7,938
AEGEAN DAWN6 b g Alflora (IRE) - Wychnor Dawn (IRE) (Broken Hearted)
Form: 1/1-11 Owner/Breeder: Paul Murphy
The progressive Aegean Dawn’s official mark over hurdles has risen 31lb this season due to a pair of convincing handicap successes at Cheltenham and Ascot. Prior to joining the Henderson stable at the start of the current campaign, the six-year-old had previously been trained by Robert and Sally Alner, for whom he made an impressive debut when taking a Kempton bumper by 10 lengths in February, 2009. That was his only outing that season and he also made just one appearance in the 2009/2010 campaign, surviving a final fence blunder to take a Folkestone novices’ hurdle in November, 2009. He was allotted a hurdle mark of 114 for his handicap debut in a two-mile, five-furlong conditional jockeys’ contest at Cheltenham’s Open meeting on November 12 but made that figure look very lenient as he sauntered to victory on the bridle. Due to go up 21lb for that success, connections were forced to run Aegean Dawn over an inadequate two miles at Ascot the following week but he followed up with another impressive victory when beating leading Stan James Champion Hurdle contender Mille Chief by four and a half lengths. He was due to return to the Berkshire course in December for the Ladbroke Hurdle, for which he was favourite, but the meeting was abandoned due to frost. He is entered in the Coral Cup and the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at The Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He will go for the Imperial Cup (Sandown the Saturday before), Coral or County. He could go to the Imperial and then go to Cheltenham for the bonus. He will be a chaser next year."
Jump Race Record: Starts: 4; Wins: 4; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £18,742
7 b g Enrique - Bleu Ciel Et Blanc (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE))
Jump Form: 1121/113/5311-311 Owner: J P McManus Breeder: Elie Lellouche
Bred by French trainer Elie Lellouche, Binocular is from the family of Derby winner Kris Kin and other top-class Flat performers Warrsan, Luso and Needle Gun. Binocular commenced his career with Lellouche on the Flat with a pair of nine-furlong victories at the end of his two-year-old season. He raced five times as a three-year-old in 2007, four of his five starts coming in Listed races, and displayed a good level of ability with two runner-up efforts in that grade over 10 furlongs at Longchamp in May and Chantilly in July. That latter effort was his last before his sale to J P McManus and a switch to Nicky Henderson’s Lambourn yard. He won his British jump debut in a soft ground two-mile novice hurdle at Ascot in January, 2008. He won the following month’s Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton and was then runner-up to Captain Cee Bee in the Grade One Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival that March. On only his fourth start over timber, he then landed the Grade One Anniversary 4YO Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree by seven lengths from Celestial Halo. He opened the 2008/09 season with victory at Haydock in November and then impressed with a four and a half-length win over Celestial Halo in the rescheduled Grade Two Boylesports International at Ascot the following month. He then finished third in the 2009 Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle, just half a length behind stablemate Punjabi. Much was expected ahead of the 2009/10 season but he was only seven lengths fifth to Go Native on his seasonal return in the Grade One stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November. He posted a better effort when third to the same rival in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on December 26, and cruised to success when 1/7 favourite in the Listed Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on February 6. Connections reported 11 days after that win that Binocular was unlikely to run again that season due to a muscular problem but his condition improved dramatically and he was allowed to take his chance in the 2010 Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle. He posted an impressive victory as he took the lead two out and raced clear for a three and a half length triumph over Khyber Kim, with stablemate Zaynar a further six lengths adrift. This season again started with defeat in the stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle, which was this year run at Newbury on November 27, as he faded in the closing stages to come home third behind the Donald McCain-trained Peddlers Cross. Binocular again showed the benefit of his seasonal return as he produced an excellent performance to take the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on January 15, when he beat another of McCain’s top hurdlers, Overturn, by three and three-quarter lengths. He made a quick reappearance with a second successive start in the Listed Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on February 5. Sent off a prohibitive 1/10 favourite, he recorded a length and three-quarter verdict over stable companion Ruthenoise,
who was officially rated 55lb inferior to the champion.
Jump Race Record: Starts: 14; Wins: 9; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £605,647
BOBS WORTH (IRE)
6 b g Bob Back (USA) - Fashionista (IRE) (King´s Theatre (IRE))
Form: 21-111 Owner: The Not Afraid Partnership Breeder: Mrs L EadieBob Worth was purchased by Nicky Henderson’s future stable jockey Barry Geraghty and his brothers for 16,500 euros at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt in November, 2006, before being sold by them to Henderson and Highflyer Bloodstock for £20,000 at Doncaster sales in May, 2009. He made a pleasing debut for new connections when going down by a length and a half to stable companion Prince Of Pirates in a Kempton bumper in February, 2010, and returned to the same course three months later for a comfortable seven-length victory. Bobs Worth also started the current season at the Sunbury course as he made an impressive debut over hurdles to take a two-mile novices’ contest by nine lengths on November 22. He has since gone on to two further wins at Cheltenham, scoring over an extended two and a half miles on New Year’s Day and inflicting a two and a quarter-length defeat on Rock On Ruby in the Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over the same trip on Festival Trials Day, January 29. He is entered in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Nicky Henderson said: “I am just sitting on the fence about which race he goes for. I have said probably two and a half miles but he does stay and the ground may be the deciding factor.”
Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 4; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £24,986
CAROLE’S LEGACY7 ch m Sir Harry Lewis (USA) - Carole’s Crusader (Faustus (USA))
Form: 11/21104/111221-122 Owner/breeder: Paul Murphy
Bred in Staffordshire at her owner Paul Murphy’s Wychnor Park Stud, Carole’s Legacy won both her bumpers, including a Listed event at Aintree in April, 2008, and captured two novices’ hurdles the following season when she also came 11th to Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at The Festival. Sent chasing last season, she won her first three starts in mares’ company before returning to The Festival to finish second to Quevega and rounded the campaign off with a win in an Ayr handicap hurdle. This season began with a win in a Kempton mares’ Listed hurdle on November 22, was followed by a second to Tartak in the victorchandler.com Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and her most recent start came three weeks later at Ascot when second to Sparky May in a Grade Two mares’ hurdle. She could go again for the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham but Henderson revealed that she could go instead for the Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase on the opening day: “She is just quite well in over fences and ran a terrific race earlier in the year at Cheltenham.”
Race Record: Starts: 16; Wins: 9; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £130,539
ERICHT (IRE)5 b g Alderbrook - Lady Orla (IRE) (Satco (FR))
Form: 211 Owner: Bridget Hanbury Breeder: Mrs M McDonagh
Ericht is a leading contender for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper following an impressive victory in the Grade Two Winter Bumper at Newbury on February 18, when he readily powered clear of his rivals to record a four-length success over Bygones In Brid. He had previously posted an equally eye-catching win at Huntingdon on January 6 and began his racing career when going down by three-quarters of a length to Twentyfourcarat in an Ascot bumper on November 20.
Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £7,746
FINIAN’S RAINBOW (IRE)
8 b g Tiraaz - Trinity Gale (IRE) (Strong Gale)Form: 1/1315-111 Owner: Michael Buckley Breeder: J O'Keeffe
Formerly trained by Adrian Maguire in Ireland, Finian’s Rainbow was unlucky not to win a point-to-point at Inch in March, 2008, as he fell at the final fence with the race at his mercy. He was bought through former trainer John Edwards by Michael Buckley and sent to Nicky Henderson shortly afterwards but missed the first half of the 2008/09 season with a series of small setbacks. He finally made his British debut in a Kempton bumper in March, 2009, and easily accounted for his nine rivals to win unchallenged by six lengths. Sent hurdling for the 2009/2010 campaign, Finian’s Rainbow posted an even more impressive performance to win a Newbury novices’ hurdle in November, 2009, as he strolled to a 15-length victory over Sereth. He returned to the Berkshire course the following month to contest the Grade One Challow Novices’ Hurdle, in which he ran a fine race to take a close third behind Reve De Sivola and Restless Harry. Finian’s Rainbow returned to the winner’s enclosure at Ascot in February, 2010, as he dropped down in grade to win a novices’ hurdle on the bridle. He contested the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in 2010 and ran an excellent race after being slightly hampered by the fall of Quel Esprit at the second flight, to finish fifth behind the victorious Peddlers Cross. Finian’s Rainbow has excelled over fences this season and is currently unbeaten in three starts over the larger obstacles. He opened his account with a easy all-the-way success in a Newbury novices’ chase on November 25 and returned to the Berkshire course for an even more emphatic 51-length victory in a similar contest on January 19. Stepped up to Grade Two company for the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on February 12, he posted a comfortable 11-length verdict over Stagecoach Pearl. He heads to Cheltenham for the Grade One The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase. Nicky Henderson said: “I thought he was a stayer initially but he is genuine two-miler. We wanted to give him more experience at Warwick and tried further. He is so good when you let him run.”
Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 6; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £48,305
FRENCH OPERA8 b g Bering - On Fair Stage (IRE) (Sadler´s Wells (USA))
Jump Form: 1/222/1F22356/11121-91 Owner: Judy Wilson & Martin Landau Breeder: N P
Bloodstock Ltd. The consistent French Opera looks likely to head for the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase after an impressive six-length success in the Grade Two totepool Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on February 18. He failed to shine in five Flat starts for former trainer Jamie Osborne, with a fourth place in a 10-furlong Bath maiden proving the highlight, but made a winning debut for Nicky Henderson when taking a Taunton juvenile maiden hurdle in March, 2007. He was second on all three hurdling starts in the 2007/08 season but returned to the winner’s enclosure in an Aintree handicap hurdle in October, 2008. He got no further than the third fence on his chasing debut at Kempton the following month but produced a far better effort to chase home Original on his next start at the same course in the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase in December. He continued to impress over fences and hurdles without winning, most notably when coming home third in the 2009 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase at The Festival. Last season, after taking an Ascot novice chase in October, he had two major victories at Cheltenham in the paddypower.com Handicap Chase at The Open and Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase at The International. He returned to The Festival for another crack at the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase, in which he produced another excellent effort to go down by a length and a quarter to Pigeon Island. He ended the 2009/2010 campaign with a deserved Grade Two success in the Future Champions Novices’ Chase at Ayr in April. He posted rare below-par run on his seasonal return when last in a Sandown handicap chase on January 8 but he returned to form with his comfortable Newbury success and heads to Cheltenham as a live outsider for championship honours. He is entered in Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase and the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase. Nicky Henderson said: “He was very good in the Game Spirit at Newbury and he is likely to run in the Champion Chase though he will be considered for the Grand Annual. I don’t know what happened at Sandown.”
Jump Race Record: Starts: 18; Wins: 7; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £146,368
GRANDOUET (FR)4 b/br g Al Namix (FR) - Virginia River (FR) (Indian River (FR))
Form: 331-5211 Owner: Simon Munir Breeder: Dominique Le Baron
Grandouet made a promising start to his career over hurdles for former handler Guillaume Macaire, culminating in a easy 20-length success in a three-year-old contest at Enghien in April, 2010. He was bought by Simon Munir soon afterwards and joined Henderson’s stable in July, making his British debut when coming home fifth in a Listed juvenile hurdle at Wetherby on October 29. He improved when filling the runner-up spot in the Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham two weeks later, when he finished 15 lengths behind Sam Winner. He has gone on to a pair of comfortable wins in juvenile hurdles, scoring readily at Newbury on December 29 and posting an effortless six-length success at Ascot on January 22. He is on target for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He has done nothing wrong and is fit, fresh and ready to go.”
Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £46,446
LONG RUN (FR)6 b g Cadoudal (FR) - Libertina (FR) (Balsamo (FR))
Form: 21211113/1211113-31 Owner: Robert Waley-Cohen Breeder: Marie-Christine Gabeur
Long Run began his career with trainer Guillaume Macaire, initially racing in the colours of breeder Marie-Christine Gabeur. He finished runner-up in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil on his career debut in May, 2008, and scored later that month when defeating the smart Mr Thriller in a two and a quarter-mile Listed hurdle at the same venue. He raced 12 times in France, each time at Auteuil. On September 4, 2008, he first sported the colours of owner Robert Waley-Cohen and won the following month’s Grade Two Prix Georges de Talhouet-Roy (a two-mile hurdle) by six lengths. His first Grade One triumph came on November 9 over the same course and distance in the Prix Cambaceres and he won a Grade Three in March, 2009. He went on to be runner-up finish in the Grade One Prix Ferdinand Dufaure in May, 2009, and returned to action in the autumn with a four-race winning streak in races that included France’s equivalent of the Triumph Hurdle, the Grade One Prix Maurice Gillois Grand Steeple Chase 4 Ans, in November. He moved to Nicky Henderson’s Lambourn yard shortly afterwards and made a stunning British debut with a 13-length defeat of Tazbar in the Grade One Feltham Novices’ Chase over three miles at Kempton in December, 2009. He dropped back to two miles for the Grade Two Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick in February, and easily landed the spoils by 12 lengths, despite some less than fluent jumping. Similar errors also cost him at last year’s Festival as he made several mistakes before coming home third behind Weapon’s Amnesty and stable companion Burton Port in the Grade One RSA Chase. Long Run started this season with a first foray into handicap company in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 13 when, despite being sent off a red-hot 2/1 favourite, he could only take third behind Little Josh. The introduction of earplugs alongside several sessions with a Harley Street chiropractor meant that Long Run lined up for Kempton’s rearranged King George VI Chase on January 15 a revitalised horse. Always tracking the leaders, he moved up to take the lead three fences out and he soon powered clear of his rivals for a stunning 12-length success over Riverside Theatre, with defending champion Kauto Star a further seven lengths back in third. He will bid to strike another blow for the new generation of chasers when he lines up against Imperial Commander, Kauto Star and Denman in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham on March 18. Should he be successful in chasing’s Blue Riband, Long Run will become the first six-year-old to triumph since Mill House in 1963, while his jockey Sam Waley-Cohen would be the first amateur for 30 years to win the race.
Race Record: Starts: 17; Wins: 11; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £825,722
MAD MAX (IRE)9 b g Kayf Tara - Carole’s Crusader (Faustus (USA)
Form: 11/118/1341-463 Owner: Carole Skipworth & Paul Murphy Breeder: Paul Murphy
A half-brother to Carole’s Crusader, Mad Max won both his bumpers at Newbury (including a Grade Two), and had two wins in three starts as a novice hurdler in the 2008/09 campaign with his only defeat coming when eighth to Mikael D’Haguenet in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Two wins, including the Grade Two Manifesto Novices’ Chase and fourth place to Sizing Europe in the RSA Chase followed from four novice chase starts last season. He finished fourth to Little Josh in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November on his comeback, was sixth in the Vote A P Gold Cup at Cheltenham a month later and most recently came third to Master Minded in the Grade One Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot. He is entered in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase and the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase. Nicky Henderson said: “Mad Max has been tubed and in all probability that he will join French Opera in the Champion Chase. We had a long sequence of wind problems with him - I am not mad keen on tubing but he has been done because he is very good. We hope this will get him right for the race. He worked yesterday and was very good.” Mad Max will wear earplugs and could be ridden by Paul Carberry.
Race Record: Starts: 12; Wins: 6; 2nd: 0; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £109,942
MASTER OF THE HALL (IRE)7 b g Saddlers´ Hall (IRE) - Frankly Native (IRE) (Be My Native (USA))
Form: 4113-1511 Owner: Martin Landau & Jonathan Duffy Breeder: Sweetmans Bloodstock
Master Of The Hall won a point-to-point maiden at Dromahane in December, 2008, before being purchased by current connections for £80,000 at Brightwells’ Cheltenham Sale the following month. He made his debut for Nicky Henderson when fourth in a Sandown bumper in November, 2009, but made a winning debut over hurdles at the same course the following month as he readily beat Sonowyouno. He followed up that success with another facile win at Newbury in January, 2010, before ending his campaign by coming home third in the Sidney Banks Memorial Hurdle at Huntingdon the following month. He made a winning debut over fences at Ascot on November 19, when driven out for a three and a half length success, but a couple of jumping errors meant he was a well-beaten fifth behind Hell’s Bay in the Tigmi Travel Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. He returned to form with a convincing success over three miles at Huntingdon on January 26 and produced a career-best effort when easily winning the Grade Two Sodexo Prestige Reynoldstown Novices' Chase over the same distance at Ascot on February 19. That victory prompted connections to aim Master Of The Hall at the RSA Chase at The Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He has got confidence again and did everything very well at Ascot.”
Race Record: Starts: 8; Wins: 5; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £36,766
MINELLA CLASS (IRE)6 br g Oscar (IRE) - Louisas Dream (IRE) (Supreme Leader)
Jump Form: 012-11 Owner: Deal George Kelvin-Hughes Nicolson Breeder: Conna Stud
Bred by Grand National-winning trainer Jimmy Mangan, Minella Class was knocked own for £95,000 to Highflyer Bloodstock at the Brightwells Cheltenham April Sale in 2010. The six-year-old had previously shown good form in Ireland for trainer Trevor Horgan, winning a Naas bumper on his penultimate start for the Co Kilkenny handler in February, 2010. He made his debut for Nicky Henderson when staying on strongly to take a Newbury maiden hurdle on December 15 and stepped up markedly when posting a seven-length victory in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown Park on January 8. He is entered in both the Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival and finished second at Huntingdon this afternoon.
Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £29,515
MOSSLEY (IRE)5 b g Old Vic - Sorivera (Irish River (FR))
Form: -1115 Owner: Michael Buckley Breeder: Pipe View Stud
A faller on his only start in an Irish point-to-point at Punchestown in April, 2010, for owner Wilson Dennison and trainer Colin McKeever, Mossley was subsequently bought privately by Michael Buckley and made a winning debut in a Worcester bumper on June 5. He scored by five lengths on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon on October 31 and seamlessly progressed to Grade Two company when beating Join Together by a length and a quarter in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on December 11. He was well-beaten when only fifth to Court In Motion in a Warwick novices’ hurdle on January 15. He is entered in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He will almost certainly go three miles at Cheltenham - he got bogged down at Warwick where the ground was horrible that day. He looked good up to then.”
Race Record: Starts: 4; Wins: 3; 2nd: 0; 3rd: 0: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £19,376
MR GARDNER (IRE)8 b g Deploy - Lady Padivor (IRE) (Zaffaran (USA))
Form: 671-13 Owner: Richard and Lizzie Kelvin Hughes Breeder: J P King
After winning an Irish point-to-point by a distance in March, 2008, Mr Gardner was sold for £85,000 at a Brightwells Cheltenham sale the following month and made his British debut that December at Sandown, where he was seventh in a Grade Two novices’ hurdle. He then beat Fistral Beach by 32 lengths in a Newbury maiden hurdle in March, 2009, and he did not run again until January 14 this year, when winning a Huntingdon novices’ chase by 32 lengths. Stepped up to Grade One company for the totepool Challengers Novices’ Chase at Sandown on February 5, he finished third to Medermit and is entered in the Jewson Novices’ Chase at The Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He will run in the Jewson. He won very well at Huntingdon and ran a great race behind Medermit, pecking at the second last though he would not have won. He is good old game front-runner and jumps well.”
Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 2; 2nd: 0; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £13,637
OSCAR WHISKY (IRE)6 b g Oscar (IRE) - Ash Baloo (IRE) (Phardante (FR))
Form: 1/1114-11 Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd Breeder: Stephanie Hanly
An 80,000 euros purchase from former jockey Norman Williamson at the 2008 Goffs Land Rover Sale, Oscar Whisky made his debut for owner Dai Walters, the driving force behind Ffos Las racecourse, in a junior bumper at Newbury in March, 2009. Sent off the even money favourite for the extended mile and a half contest, he didn’t come off the bridle and recorded a facile nine-length victory over Sophies Trophy. Oscar Whisky returned to Newbury and posted another comprehensive bumper success in November, 2009, before making his hurdling debut at the same course the following month, when beating Spirit Of Adjisa in a canter by seven lengths. He warmed up for last year’s Festival with another convincing success in a Sandown novices’ hurdle under a confident ride from Barry Geraghty in February. Oscar Whisky ran an excellent race in last year’s Grade One Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when fourth behind Menorah, Get Me Out Of Here and Dunguib. After missing Kempton’s Grade One Christmas Hurdle following the race’s postponement, Oscar Whisky made his seasonal return in the extended two and a half-mile Cheltenham & Three Counties Club Hurdle at Prestbury Park on New Year’s Day and posted an effortless seven-length victory over Any Given Day. He then headed to Ffos Las on February 19 for the Welsh Champion Hurdle, giving his owner a cherished win in the race. He now probably heads to Cheltenham for the Stan James Champion Hurdle to take on his stable companion and defending champion Binocular but could switch to the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 6; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £58,506
PUNCHESTOWNS (FR)8 ch g Morespeed - History (FR) (Alesso (USA))
Form: 1/122113/1122/115-231 Owner: Judy Wilson Breeder: Gerard Ferte
Punchestowns was bred in France by Gerard Ferte and began his career in the French provinces under the care of trainer Philippe Chemin. His first start, in June, 2006, came on the Flat in an extended mile and a half non-thoroughbred contest at Granville-St Pair Sur Mer on the Normandy coast, in which he finished second. He raced twice more on the level that term before breaking his maiden in an AQPS National Hunt Flat race at Lisieux in April, 2007. Another win and two second placings followed in similar contests that summer before he was sold to the late Lynn Wilson, who always had a great love of Punchestown racecourse, and joined trainer Nicky Henderson’s team in Lambourn. Punchestowns made a winning debut over hurdles at Sandown in February, 2008, defeating The Package in an extended two-mile novice event. He followed up with an eight-length success over Ogee at Uttoxeter a month later, conceding 10lb to the subsequent Grade One winner. His final start of that campaign saw him take third behind Elusive Dream in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s April meeting. The 2008/09 season began at The Open in November when he carried top-weight in a two mile, five furlong handicap hurdle and slammed his rivals. That success prompted a step into Grade One company for the BGC Long Walk Hurdle over three miles and a furlong at Ascot in December, resulting in an 11-length win from stablemate Duc De Regniere. He was second in the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle over three miles at Cheltenham in January, 2009, when conceding 8lb to winner Big Buck’s. The pair renewed rivalry on equal terms in the 2009 Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle but Punchestowns again had to settle for second, a length and three quarters behind Big Buck’s. Punchestowns made his chasing bow at Newbury at the end of November, 2009, winning a two and a half-mile Grade Two contest under Barry Geraghty. An imperious eight-length victory over Tchico Polos in the Grade One totepool Challenger Novices’ Chase at Sandown in February, 2010, followed but he could only finish fifth in the Grade One RSA Chase at last year’s Festival, after which he returned with a chipped bone in his hock. He started the current campaign in a graduation chase at Newbury on December 29, when going down by a head to Pride Of Dulcote. He headed to Cheltenham to test his totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials in the Grade Two Argento Chase on Festival Trials Day, January 29, but came home a well-beaten third behind Neptune Collonges. Punchestowns recorded his first success for a year when taking a graduation chase at Kempton on February 11, as he wore down long-time leader Pasco for an 11-length victory, giving Henderson his 2,000th Jump winner in the process. Nicky Henderson said: “He is in the Gold Cup and Stayers’ Hurdle but I am not sure if we won’t just wait for Aintree. He has always been a very good horse. I cannot quite see him winning a Gold Cup.”
Race Record (Jumps): Starts: 17: Wins: 9; 2nd: 5; 3rd: 2; Wins & Place Prize Money: £239,634
QUANTITATIVEEASING (IRE)6 ch g Anshan - Mazuma (IRE) (Mazaad)
Form: 111257-711 Owner: J P McManus Breeder: Sheila Moore
A full-brother to multiple Grade One winning hurdler Asian Maze, Quantitativeeasing made an impressive racecourse debut in a bumper at Punchestown in April, 2009, scoring by eight lengths under J P Magnier in the colours of his mother Sue. He returned to action at Newcastle in November 28, 2009, in the ownership of J P McManus and won a two-mile maiden hurdle by five lengths and scored easily again the following month at Newbury before finishing second in a similar event at Kempton in February. He finished fifth in the Coral Cup at last year’s Festival and went on to be seventh in a Grade One novices’ hurdle at Punchestown. He has won his last two novice chasing starts this season, in small fields at Fontwell and Market Rasen, and has a multitude of different options at The Festival.
Race Record: Starts: 9; Wins: 5; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £29,459
RIVERSIDE THEATRE7 b g King´s Theatre (IRE) - Disallowed (IRE) (Distinctly North (USA))
Form: 13/12114/3115F-121 Owner: Jimmy Nesbitt Partnership Breeder: Goldford Stud
Riverside Theatre, who races in the colours of actor Jimmy Nesbitt, ran on strongly to take a Kempton bumper on his debut in February, 2008. He was third behind Diamond Harry in a valuable bumper at Newbury the following month, but scored in a lesser contest at Ascot that November. He took second on his hurdling debut at Newbury later that month and followed up with a cosy victory in a novices’ hurdle at Kempton in January, 2009. After posting another facile success at Newbury, he stepped up to Grade Two company to contest the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, where he ran an excellent race to come home fourth behind El Dancer. He ended his campaign with another pleasing effort to take third behind Hurricane Fly in the Grade One Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle. Sent chasing for the 2009/2010 season, Riverside Theatre made an even more impressive start over fences as he produced a faultless display of jumping to take a Newbury beginners’ chase by 28 lengths at the end of November. Having previously been victorious on both his appearances at Kempton, he returned to the Sunbury course for the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase the following month and maintained his faultless record there with a cosy 12-length success over El Dancer. He headed to last year’s Festival for the Grade One The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase but he looked like he would be pulled up as he struggled at the back of the field, only to storm up the hill to finish fifth behind Sizing Europe. He also failed to shine on his final start of the campaign as he fell five fences from home in the Grade One Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown. Connections decided to step Riverside Theatre up in distance for his second season over fences and he made an impressive return at Kempton on November 1 as he recorded an authoritative victory over the Paul Nicholls-trained Free World in an extended two and a half-mile graduation chase. He improved on that success on his most recent start as he stayed on to finish second, 12 lengths behind his stable companion Long Run, in the Grade One King George Vi Chase over three miles at Kempton Park on January 15. He won the Betfair Ascot Chase in good style at Ascot on February 19. Nicky Henderson said: “He got three miles at Kempton and was just as happy coming back in trip at Ascot. I actually tried to get the owners to take their horses out the Ascot races that day because of the soft ground but they wanted to run and we had four winners! He was good despite the ground and we had been thinking of missing Cheltenham and waiting for Aintree. But we are likely to go to the Ryanair Chase now, especially is the ground is good. Jimmy Nesbitt’s is in New Zealand and his schedule is completely different to mine and he rings me at 10pm. Sadly he won’t be able to come to Cheltenham as he is in New Zealand for a year but there are partners here.”
Race Record: Starts: 15; Wins: 8; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £198,951
SOLDATINO (FR)5 gr g Graveron (FR) - Malory Du Chenay (FR) (Art Sebal (USA))
Form: 42111-65 Owner: Simon Munir Breeder: A Lastrajoli
A winner at Pau in January, 2010, Soldatino was subsequently bought privately by owner Simon Munir and scored on his British debut a month later in the Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton. Better was to follow at last year’s Festival when he took the JCB Triumph Hurdle by a length and a quarter from the front-running Barizan. He returned in January to finish sixth in an Ascot handicap hurdle in January and was fifth to Recession Proof in the Grade Three totesport.com Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Friday. He is entered in Stan James Champion Hurdle and the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at The Festival.
Race Record: Starts: 7; Wins: 3; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 0; Win & Place Prize Money: £90,009
SPIRIT SON (FR)5 b g Poliglote - Kirzinnia (FR) (Zino)
Form: 111 Owner: Michael Buckley Breeder: Anne & Jean-Marc Baudrelle
Spirit Son was bought by Michael Buckley after posting a nose success in a Listed novices’ hurdle at Auteuil on September 20 - his only start for his former handler Thomas Trapenard. He continued to impress on his debut for Nicky Henderson when readily taking an extended two-mile novices’ hurdle at Huntingdon on January 14 and maintained his unbeaten record at Exeter on February 13 as he recorded an emphatic 21-length victory over the same distance. He is entered in the Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, for which he is currently second favourite behind Cue Card. Nicky Henderson said: “He has done nothing wrong and was very impressive at Exeter. He is a thoroughly professional, likeable and uncomplicated horse.”
Race Record: Starts: 3; Wins: 3; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £35,077
SPRINTER SACRE (FR)5 b/br g Network (GER) - Fatima III (FR) (Bayolidaan (FR)
Form: 11-211 Owner: Caroline Mould Breeder: Christophe Masle
The French-bred Sprinter Sacre has done little wrong in five starts to date, on all of which he has started favourite. He was odds-on for his debut in an Ascot bumper in February, 2010, when scraping home by a nose and went on take another bumper at Ayr two months later, when winning by four lengths. He returned this season at Ascot on November 20 when second to Frascati in a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle and scored by 10 lengths when returning to two miles at Ffos Las on February 5. A seven-length success followed over the same trip at Ascot a fortnight later. He is entered in the Stan James Supreme Novices Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival. Nicky Henderson said: “He is going to be a lovely chaser next season and has a huge amount of natural talent. He will run over two miles at Cheltenham.”
Race Record: Starts: 5; Wins: 4; 2nd: 1; 3rd: - ; Win & Place Prize Money: £20,102
ZAYNAR (FR)6 gr g Daylami (IRE) - Zainta (IRE) (Kahyasi)
Jumps Form: 111/11233-44 Owners: Men In Our Position Breeder: H H The Aga Khan's Studs
Zaynar made three appearances on the Flat in France for his owner/breeder the Aga Khan and trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, posting his best effort when going down by a nose in a 12-furlong contest at Lyon in June, 2008. He was purchased for 110,000 euros at the Saint-Cloud Summer Sale the following month by Highflyer Bloodstock on behalf of the Men In Our Position syndicate, which includes leading bookmaker Victor Chandler. He won his first start for Nicky Henderson in a juvenile novices’ hurdle at Newbury in December, 2008, and was installed as favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle and he further enhanced his Festival claims with an easy victory on his next start in a juvenile novices’ hurdle at Ascot in January, 2009. He warmed up for Cheltenham with a racecourse gallop at Kempton, where his lazy attitude persuaded his trainer to equip the gelding with cheekpieces, and duly capped a superb first season over hurdles with a game victory in the JCB Triumph Hurdle as he gamely repelled the late challenge of Walkon to prevail by three-quarters of a length. He returned last season in the Grade Two Ascot Hurdle in November, 2009, and beat Karabak by six lengths, and went on to win the following month’s Grade Two Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham. He was then beaten when odds-on for the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso, and went on to finish third to stablemate Binocular in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival. He filled the same position behind Khyber Kim in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle. Two starts this season have both brought fourth places, in the Grade Two Coral Hurdle at Ascot in November and behind Karabak in the Unicoin Homes Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on December 11. He is entered in the Stan James Champion Hurdle and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival and no decision has yet been made, though the latter is more likely.
Jumps Race Record: Starts: 13; Wins: 5; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £230,683
THE FESTIVAL 2011First Day - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - Centenary Day - (Old Course)
1.30 Stan James Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 110y £100,000
2.05 The Irish Independent Arkle Chase (Grade One) 2m £130,000
2.40 Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase (Grade Three) 3m 110y £75,000
3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 110y £370,000
4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 7f £45,000
4.40 David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle (Grade Two) 2m 4f £75,000
5.15 Centenary Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) 2m 4f 110y £55,000
Second Day - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Ladies Day - (Old Course)
1.30 141st Year Of The National Hunt Chase (Amateurs) 4m £75,000
2.05 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 5f £100,000
2.40 RSA Chase (Grade One) 3m 110y £130,000
3.20 sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m £320,000
4.00 Coral Cup (Handicap Hurdle) (Grade Three) 2m 5f £70,000
4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m 110y £70,000
5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One) 2m 110y £60,000
Third Day - Thursday, March 17, 2011 St Patrick’s Day - (New Course)
1.30 Jewson Novices' Chase (Grade Two) 2m 4f £90,000
2.05 Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (Listed) 3m £70,000
2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One) 2m 5f £260,000
3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One) 3m £260,000
4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Handicap Chase) (Grade Three) 2m 5f £75,000
4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Amateurs) 3m 1f 110y £50,000
5.15 St Patrick's Day Derby (Charity Race) 1m 5f -
Fourth Day - Friday, March 18, 2011 Gold Cup Day - (New Course)1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 1f £100,000
2.05 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m 1f £70,000
2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade One) 3m £100,000
3.20 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup (Chase) (Grade One) 3m 2f 110y £500,000
4.00 Christie's Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup (Amateurs) 3m 2f 110y £40,000
4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 110y £50,000
5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (Handicap) (Grade Three) 2m 110y £75,000
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY 2011 - £3,415,000 ( at an average of £126,481 per race)
NICKY HENDERSON AND HIS TEAM'S AMAZING AND MOST WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENT GIFTED TO BRITISH HORSERACING FOR THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 A WORK OF ART IN ACTION
A UNIQUE AND AMAZING SPORT