'It's Trials day, not Gold Cup day' - Henderson optimistic about Champ and Chantry | Horse racing news - petsitterbank

‘It’s Trials day, not Gold Cup day’ – Henderson optimistic about Champ and Chantry | Horse racing news

Edward Whitaker

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Nicky Henderson: Had a mixed day at Cheltenham on Saturday

Edward Whitaker

By Scott Burton

Nicky Henderson is undeterred by the prospects of contending champion Stayers’ Hurdle, as well as her main Gold Cup hope, Chantry House, and hopes they leave the bare form of their races behind on the day of the Cheltenham trials at the festival in six weeks. ‘ time.

Judged solely by the reaction of the bookies, the most successful British manager at the festival could have been frustrated by the events in Cheltenham on Saturday.

After beating former team-mate Santini, Chantry House remained unchanged at 16-1 for the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, while team-mates Champ and Balco Coastal were relieved for Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle respectively after their second-place efforts. .

Nico de Boinville jumped off Chantry House after crossing the line, but Henderson reported the eight-year-old was no worse on Sunday morning.

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“He was tired and he had a good fair shot,” Henderson said. “But it’s practice day, not Gold Cup day. It was a great race and Santini had a great race.”

Henderson admitted he was surprised at how runners at the Cotswold Chase and other Graded competitions had found conditions with such an emphasis on endurance.

He added: “They had a good, solid canter over nice ground. Nico went around – and Jon [Pullin] the race director said the same thing – he walked like very good ground but he rode very dead.

“They jumped in and took off like it was good ground and found it was a lot slower than everyone expected.

John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)

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Paisley Park passes Champ in the Cleeve Hurdle

Paisley Park passes Champ in the Cleeve Hurdle

John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)

“All of mine were the same, Champ and Balco Coastal were tired. But we’re refueling them today and we have six weeks left, so that’s fine.”

Champ was ejected from the 8-15 favorite for the Cleeve Hurdle following demolition work on the return to the hurdles at the long walk to Ascot before Christmas.

But he became the second high-flying player in the Stayers market to have his wings clipped in the space of three days following Klassical Dream’s defeat at Gowran Park last Thursday.

Champ didn’t jump as fluently as he did at Ascot, but he didn’t do anything wrong, it was just a brilliant performance to reclaim Paisley Park,” Henderson said. “All credit goes to Polly [Gundry] with Santini and Emma [Lavelle] with Paisley Park.

“It looked like we had done enough, but over there he is a badass. He will be again [in the Stayers’ Hurdle] but we will be ready to take it back.”

Henderson was quick to point out that he doesn’t think Champ has a problem with Cheltenham, adding: “He just didn’t travel as well as he did at Ascot, but that doesn’t take anything away from the winner. six weeks left and as I said, it was the day of the trial.”

Cheltenham Boodles Gold Cup

Betting Fair: 10-3 A Later, 9-2 Galvin, 7 Minella Indo, 8 Al Boum Photo, 9 Protektorat, 12 Tornado Flyer, 14 Chantry House, 16 bar

Obstacle of the remainders

Power of rice: 7-2 Flooring Porter, 5 Thyme Hill, Klassical Dream, 6 Champ, 7 Paisley Park, 10 Sporting John, 12 Royal Kahala, 20 bar

Read more:

“It was the right Paisley Park” – Lavelle amazed by the miracle of Cleeve Hurdle

“A legend in his own right” – trainer Sue Smith pays tribute to Midnight Shadow

Harriet Bethell saddles her first winner since suffering life-threatening injuries

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