Jumps Season - At The Races

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Nicky Henderson Stable Tour

    The six-times champion’s title defence is spearheaded by some of the sport’s brightest stars in Altior, Champ, Epatante and Shishkin.
  • Features

Like a fine wine that gets better with age, Nicky Henderson once again displayed his vintage qualities when becoming Champion Trainer for a sixth time in the lockdown effected 2019/20 season.  

His 118 winners and over £2.5 million in prize made it three titles in the past four years for the Seven Barrows trainer and the outstanding successes of Epatante (Champion Hurdle), Champ (RSA Chase), Shishkin (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle) and Dame De Compagnie (Coral Cup) clearly indicate that there are no thoughts of any retirement.

The curtailment of the season took away what could have been Nicky’s best chance yet of gaining that so far elusive Grand National victory when Sky Bet Chase winner OK Corral was denied his chance at Aintree, but he lives to fight another day.

There was a luckless spring for the stable’s main flagbearer Altior when he suffered a setback three days before the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

That winning machine will be back again and there is hope that Buveur D’Air will have a chance of bidding for a third Champion Hurdle after his season was ended when part of the hurdle was embedded in his hoof when failing by a nose to win a third Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last November.

There are a host of young horse in the novice hurdle and bumpers division along with some other older established inmates back in action and there’s little doubt that Henderson will be in the thick of the action for another trainers’ title come the spring.

Nicky kindly spoke to Tony Elves of attheraces.com about some of his top prospects at Seven Barrows for the season ahead.

All Horses

Allart (IRE)

Form Profile:

143 rated hurdler. Winner of novice hurdles at Ludlow (2m) in January and Doncaster (2m 1/2f) in February and creditable fifth, beaten 15 ½ lengths, to stablemate Shishkin in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He was very impressive when winning at Ludlow and Doncaster and earned his chance in the Supreme and ran a solid race. I imagine he will be jumping fences before too long and two miles should be ideal as he has plenty of speed.

Video Form
18 Dec 2020:
19 Feb 2020:
2 Nov 2019:

Altior (IRE)

Form Profile:

175 rated chaser. Outstanding performer who met defeat for the first time in 20 starts when runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to Cyrname in a Grade 2 Chase at Ascot (2m 5f) at Ascot last November but business as usual in the Grade 2 Game Spirit at Newbury (2m 1/2f) when scoring by three and a quarter lengths from Sceau Royal.

Trainer Says:

Unfortunately, he threw a splint three days before what would have been his bid for a fifth Cheltenham Festival success. He had to get beaten one day and it was when we tried him over 2m 5f at Ascot and the ground was desperate. Thankfully, he bounced back in the Game Spirit at Newbury and that had put him spot on for Cheltenham. He looks tremendous again and we will probably start him in the Tingle Creek.

Video Form
23 Nov 2019:
19 Jan 2019:

Apple's Shakira (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay mare
  • Breeding: Saddler Maker - Apple's For Ever (Nikos)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 13 Mar 2019 14:50
  • Result: 6/25, mid-division, driven to chase leaders before 2 out, ridden before last, kept on, never pace to get on terms
  • View full form
Form Profile:

141 rated hurdler. Missed last season but a leading juvenile hurdle in 2017/18 and finished fourth in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f).

Trainer Says:

She missed last year with various problems, but she is back with us now. She is a full sister to Apple’s Jade, and she has grown and strengthened during her enforced layoff. I am very hopeful she can follow in her sister’s shoes.

Ballingers Corner

  • 5 b m Jeremy - Dances With Waves
Form Profile:

Winner of her point-to-point in Ireland.

Trainer Says:

She is a lovely mare and something to look forward to in novices’ hurdles.

Beware The Bear (IRE)

  • 11-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Shantou - Native Bid (Be My Native)
  • Owner: Mr G B Barlow
  • Last Race: Ascot, 19 Dec 2020 15:00
  • Result: 7/10, never going and early reminders in rear, tailed off 12th, never a factor
  • View full form
Form Profile:

158 rated chaser. Finished highly creditable fourth, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to De Rasher Counter in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury (3m 2f) last November before being unplaced over hurdles at Cheltenham (3m) in January.

Trainer Says:

His campaign had been generated around a crack at the Grand National which obviously didn’t take place, but he had shown he was a grand prospect for the race when winning the Ultima at Cheltenham the previous season. Hopefully, he will be back for next year’s National.

Video Form
19 Dec 2020:

Bond's Lover (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; grey mare
  • Breeding: Flemensfirth - Courageuse (Linamix)
  • Owner: Mrs Christopher Hanbury
  • Last Race: Newbury, 15 Jan 2020 12:45
  • Result: Won/10, held up in mid-division, headway towards inside 3 out, went 2nd approaching the last, stayed on run-in to lead towards finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Scored by a neck from Martha Brae in a mares’ novices’ hurdle at Newbury (2m 4 1/2f) in January.

Trainer Says:

She is a lovely big Flemensfirth mare who won her only start before lockdown. She is going to make a lovely mare over fences one day, but we will give her a bit more experience over hurdles. She has come back from Triermore Stud looking extremely well and she should be in for an exciting season.

Bothwell Bridge (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Raise The Issue (Galileo)
  • Owner: Mr T Barr
  • Last Race: Newbury, 27 Nov 2020 13:15
  • Result: 3/5, led, headed after 3 out, pushed along for effort 2 out, ridden and lost second after last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Runner-up in two bumpers at Huntingdon in January and Kempton in February.

Trainer Says:

He finished second in what I thought we two very competitive bumpers and he has schooled really well at home. He will go straight over hurdles and I thinking he could go very far and make a lovely chaser in time.

Brain Power (IRE)

  • 10-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kalanisi - Blonde Ambition (Old Vic)
  • Owner: Mr Michael Buckley
  • Last Race: Kempton, 18 Oct 2020 15:32
  • Result: 6/6, close up in rear, ridden 3 out, not trouble leaders
  • View full form
Form Profile:

153 rated chaser and 152 rated hurdler. Winner of the Grand National Hurdle Stakes at Far Hills (2m 5f) in October of last year.

Trainer Says:

He is our one and only Grand National winner and is being prepared for another attempt at Far Hills. It was a great victory last year and the fast ground out there suits him well.

Brave Eagle (IRE)

Form Profile:

156 rated chaser. Gained his last success in the Listed Summer Cup at Uttoxeter (3m 2f) in June 2019. Finished fifth, beaten 23 lengths, to Secret Investor in a handicap chase at Chepstow (2m 7 1/2f) on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He is not overly big, but he has won five over hurdles and four over fences and won the big summer chase at Uttoxeter. He has to have good ground and is a great jumper who can be competitive in these top handicap chases and can come on for his run at Chepstow at the weekend.

Video Form
28 Nov 2020:
10 Oct 2020:
30 Jun 2019:
13 Oct 2018:
30 Aug 2018:

Burrows Edge (FR)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Martaline - La Vie De Boitron (Lavirco)
  • Owner: Mr Michael Buckley
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 11 Mar 2020 14:50
  • Result: 13/25, tracked leaders, close up when blundered 2 out, driven and one pace between last 2, lost place and held when hampered last, weakened flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

138 rated chaser and hurdler. Landed the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton (2m 5f) in January by nine lengths from Vive Le Roi.

Trainer Says:

He won the Lanzarote for us at Kempton in January. Good ground suits him well and we very much look forward to switching him to fences where he could be a high-class prospect.

Video Form
1 Apr 2018:
10 Mar 2018:

Buveur D'air (FR)

  • 10-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Crillon - History (Alesso)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Haydock, 23 Jan 2021 15:15
  • Result: 2/3, close up in 3rd, headway to chase winner 2 out, ridden and no impression from next
  • View full form
Form Profile:

167 rated hurdler. Winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2017 and 2018 and a dual winner of the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle in those two years. Was bidding for a third victory in the Fighting Fifth when beaten a nose by Cornerstone Lad.

Trainer Says:

He had a wedge of hurdle stuck in his hoof which resulted in an extremely complicated procedure to remove it. He had a very large part of the hoof cut away and was at Martinstown for his rehabilitation but is back at Seven Barrows. It's hard to say if he will come back, only time will tell, but it would be great if he could have a crack at a third Champion Hurdle.

Video Form
30 Nov 2019:
1 Dec 2018:

Call Me Lord (FR)

Form Profile:

155 rated hurdler. Scored by a neck from Ballyandy in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in December.

Trainer Says:

He ran as well as he has ever done when putting up a gutsy performance to win the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December. I had been concerned about the trip and going left-handed, but he dispelled both. He wasn’t in the same form in the spring and he is not getting any fast as he gets older and we need to go back up in trip with him. He will remain over hurdles and there are still some good races to be won with him.

Video Form
21 Nov 2020:
23 Nov 2019:
22 Dec 2018:

Caribean Boy (FR)

Form Profile:

144 rated chaser. Scored by five lengths from The Big Bite in a novices’ handicap chase at Haydock (2m 4f) in February.

Trainer Says:

He will probably start off in a graduation chase somewhere before Christmas and we can go from there. He looked good when winning a novices’ handicap at Haydock and is very lightly raced. If he relaxes and can eventually see him getting three miles and there is certainly plenty more to come from him.

Video Form
19 Dec 2020:
14 Jan 2020:

Casablanca Mix (FR)

  • 9-y-o; chestnut mare
  • Breeding: Shirocco - Latitude (Kadalko)
  • Owner: Mr E R Hanbury
  • Last Race: Doncaster, 29 Dec 2020 13:45
  • Result: 4/7, led, headed narrowly before 10th, ridden before 4 out, impeded by faller 3 out, one pace from 2 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

150 rated mare. Finished runner-up, beaten six lengths, to Pink Eyed Pedro in a handicap chase at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f) on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

She has been a great fun mare and she loves jumping. She ran an encouraging race on her return at Chepstow at the weekend and she can win more races over fences on decent ground.

Video Form
29 Dec 2020:
10 Oct 2020:
29 Dec 2019:

Champ (IRE)

Form Profile:

161 rated chaser. Winner of his three completed chase last season and put in a remarkable effort when beating Minella Indo a length in the Grade 1 RSA Chase at Cheltenham (3m 1/2f) in March.

Trainer Says:

His only blemish over fences was in his prep for the Cheltenham Festival when he was well clear when falling at the second last and he went there having won his previous two starts at Newbury. He put in an extraordinary performance in the RSA as he looked destined to finish third but Barry (Geraghty) galvanised him into action up the hill and got him up to win a length. He has enjoyed his summer at Martinstown and we haven’t decided where he will start but we are hopeful all roads will lead to the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Chantry House (IRE)

Form Profile:

147 rated hurdler. Winner of a novices' hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in December and Newbury (2m 1/2f) Finished respectable third, beaten 11 lengths, to stablemate Shishkin in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Trainer Says:

He is an extremely exciting prospect and won his two novices’ hurdles before finishing third to Shishkin in the Supreme. We wanted to try him over further, but the opportunities were lost and when he does go novice chasing, he could well go to the top.

Video Form
20 Nov 2020:

Craigneiche (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Flemensfirth - Itsalark (Definite Article)
  • Owner: Mr Robert Kirkland
  • Last Race: Ascot, 23 Jan 2021 13:50
  • Result: Won/12, always handy, led 2 out, asserting last, drew clear flat, readily
  • View full form
Form Profile:

127 rated hurdler. Off the mark over hurdles when beating Ulverston three and a quarter lengths at Doncaster (2m 5f) in January.

Trainer Says:

He had a few niggly little problems after his win at Doncaster in January that just held us up. He is a lovely big chasing type by Flemensfirth and has come back from his summer break looking a picture. He has grown again and looks a high-class chaser in the making.

Video Form
23 Jan 2021:
14 Jan 2020:

Dame De Compagnie (FR)

Form Profile:

148 rated hurdler. Returned to winning form in a Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 4 1/2f) in December and followed up with a two and a quarter length victory from Black Tears in the Grade 3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 5f) in March.

Trainer Says:

She has a great temperament and we decided to keep her for the Coral Cup after she won a mares’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in December. Thankfully, that plan worked out perfectly and she won nicely from Black Tears and she would have run again had the season not be cut short. She has the size and scope to make a high-class chasing mare and, although it hasn’t been totally decided, I think that might be the right route for her.

Video Form
17 Feb 2018:

Dickie Diver (IRE)

Form Profile:

141 rated hurdler. Winner of a maiden hurdle at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f) in February and subsequently finished fourth, beaten 11 lengths, to Minella Indo in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham (3m) in March.

Trainer Says:

Last year niggly problems never saw him get the opportunity to show what he was capable of, but he still won his maiden hurdle at Chepstow very well and then he ran a highly creditable fourth in the Albert Bartlett. He loves soft ground and he looks a very exciting prospect for novices’ chases.

Video Form
23 Feb 2019:
18 Jan 2019:

Downtown Getaway (IRE)

Form Profile:

136 rated hurdler. Scored by a neck from Palmers Hill in a handicap hurdle at Kempton (2m 5f) in February.

Trainer Says:

He is a grand horse who has plenty of ability but has had a few niggly problems on the way. He won nicely at Kempton in February before disappointing there on his return in the Cheltenham consolation race and that wasn’t him. He will go chasing and he should do very well at that.

Video Form
19 Jan 2019:

El Kaldoun (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Special Kaldoun - Kermesse D'estruval (Cadoudal)
  • Owner: Middleham Park Racing Civ
  • Last Race: Newbury, 20 Jan 2021 15:35
  • Result: 7/10, chased leaders, hit 7th, outpaced 11th, rallied and pushed along in 4th after 14th, weakened before next
  • View full form
Form Profile:

110 rated chaser. Made all in great style to score by eight and a half lengths from The Ferry Master in a novices’ handicap chase at Hexham (2m 4f) on Saturday.

Trainer Says:

He is a still a maiden over hurdles, but we couldn’t wait for the day he went chasing as he has so much size and scope and he proved the point at Hexham on Saturday. He jumped like an old hand and hopefully there will be a lot more to come from him.

Video Form
8 Jan 2021:
13 Nov 2020:
10 Oct 2020:
13 Dec 2019:
8 Jan 2019:

Epatante (FR)

Form Profile:

162 rated hurdler. Winner of her three starts over hurdles last season which culminated in a three length success from Sharjah in the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1/2f) in March.

Trainer Says:

She has had a great summer break and come back looking extremely well. She was very impressive when winning the Champion Hurdle and Barry (Geraghty) gave her a wonderfully smooth ride and everything went exactly as according to plan. She will take much the same route as last year and she could take in the Fighting Fifth, Christmas Hurdle and then the Champion. She is a lovely filly with a marvellous temperament, and we look forward to campaigning her again.

Video Form
28 Nov 2020:

Father John (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Secret Singer - Oudette (Apple Tree)
  • Owner: Middleham Park Racing XI
  • Last Race: Hexham, 23 Jun 2019 17:30
  • Result: Won/10, keen early, held up in touch, ridden to lead 1f out, ran on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of his bumper at Hexham in June of last year.

Trainer Says:

He is a fine big gelding who won his only bumper but has had a few niggly problems since. He come back looking really well and we will go over hurdles now. He has plenty of ability and is one to look forward to.

Video Form
23 Jun 2019:

Fix Sun (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Al Namix - Quelly Bruere (Lost World)
  • Owner: Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede
  • Last Race: Haydock, 21 Nov 2020 13:50
  • Result: 7/14, midfield, not fluent 3rd, lost ground 4 out and ridden, well beaten 2 out, no extra
  • View full form
Form Profile:

137 rated hurdler. Winner of hurdles at Sedgefield (2m 1 1/2f) in June last year and Market Rasen (2m 2 1/2f) in January and runner-up, beaten half a length, to Fraternel when bidding for a hat trick at Fakenham (2m 4f) in February.

Trainer Says:

He very narrow failed to win all three hurdle races for us when just touch off at Fakenham. He showed us he needed a wind operation then and that has been done over the summer. There should be more to come from him this season.

Video Form
14 Feb 2020:
14 May 2019:

Flinteur Sacre (FR)

Form Profile:

Eyecatching runner-up on his bumper debut at Newbury in January and little trouble going one better at Kempton the following month when beating Le Bateau four and three quarter lengths.

Trainer Says:

He is a full brother to Sprinter Sacre and has very nearly as much quality as his illustrious brother. He was given a lovely introduction by Barry (Geraghty) at Newbury in January and then went to Kempton where he won easily. He has done plenty of schooling and, although he has a lot to live up too, he is a very exciting prospect for novices’ hurdles.

Floressa (FR)

Form Profile:

141 rated hurdler. One of her two successes over hurdles last season was when beating Jeremy’s Flame a length and a half in a listed event at Newbury (2m 1/2f) in November.

Trainer Says:

She has come back looking absolutely wonderful. She delighted us with her efforts in mares’ novices' hurdles last season and we are pretty confident we have a very high-class mare in the making.

Video Form
25 Jan 2020:
23 Oct 2019:

Fred (FR)

Form Profile:

144 rated hurdler. Winner of novice hurdles at Kempton (2m) on Boxing Day when beating Ecco four and a half lengths and Musselburgh (1m 7 1/2f) in February when scoring by a head from Malystic.

Trainer Says:

He just took a couple of run to show us what he was capable of and won his next two starts at Kempton and Musselburgh. He is not particularly big, but he will jump a fence one day and we may continue over hurdles for the time being.

Video Form
22 Nov 2019:
31 Mar 2019:
9 Mar 2019:
19 Feb 2019:
10 Dec 2018:

Fusil Raffles (FR)

Form Profile:

150 rated hurdler. Winner of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last season and made a successful start to his novice chasing career when beating Quick Grabim four lengths at Uttoxeter (2m) in September.

Trainer Says:

He is a smashing horse who done us proud since coming over from France and won the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown and the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton. He made the perfect start to his chasing career at Uttoxeter in September and is ideally a good ground horse. He should improve through the season and there’s no telling how good he could turn out to be.

Video Form
25 Sep 2020:

Giants Table

Form Profile:

Winner of his only point-to-point in Ireland in March 2019.

Trainer Says:

He is a lovely big horse by Great Pretender for whom things didn’t go to plan last season and we ran out of time. He will start in novices’ hurdles and should do well, but we can’t wait for the day until we send him chasing.

Glynn (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Winged Love - Barnish River (Riverhead)
  • Owner: Owners Group 039
  • Last Race: Kempton, 9 Jan 2021 15:30
  • Result: PU/20, raced keenly chasing leaders, weakened quickly after 3 out, pulled up before next
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of a point-to-point and his bumper at Doncaster in January.

Trainer Says:

He couldn’t have been more impressive when winning his bumper at Doncaster, but he just wasn’t the same after, so we didn’t run him. He has done well over the summer and looks a picture now and he is horse of considerable promise.

Video Form
11 Dec 2020:
24 Jan 2020:

Gran Luna (FR)

Form Profile:

Impressive winner of her bumper at Newbury in February.

Trainer Says:

She was being targeted for the Doncaster Sales bumper and I wanted to give her a run beforehand. She won well at Newbury but unfortunately the Sales race was unable to take place. She will go straight over hurdles now and she looks a high-class prospect for mares’ hurdles this season.

Janika (FR)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Saddler Maker - Majaka (Kapgarde)
  • Owner: Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede
  • Last Race: Ascot, 23 Jan 2021 13:50
  • Result: 9/12, held up in rear, headway approaching 7th, pushed along before 2 out, soon weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

162 chaser. Winner of the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup on his reappearance at Exeter (2m 1 1/2f) in November.

Trainer Says:

I was delighted to see him get his head in front in the Haldon Gold Cup first time out last season as he had run some tremendous races for us in his first season here without winning. He picked up some nice placed prize money at Ascot in Grade 1 events in January and February but it’s not easy to find winning opportunities for these type of horses. He has his soft palate cauterised in February and was being readied for Aintree when the lockdown intervened, and we will probably stick more to two and a half miles this season.

Video Form
23 Jan 2021:
15 Feb 2020:
18 Jan 2020:
22 Dec 2018:

L'ami Serge (IRE)

  • 11-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: King's Theatre - La Zingarella (Phardante)
  • Owner: Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 12 Mar 2020 15:30
  • Result: PU/15, held up towards rear, ridden after 2 out, soon weakened, pulled up before last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

153 rated hurdler. Best effort last season on his reappearance in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot (3m 1/2f) in December when second, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to The Worlds End.

Trainer Says:

He was back with us last season after sustaining a tendon injury in the 2018 French Champion Hurdle and he nearly made a fairytale return in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December. He was probably caught out by peak fitness then and testing conditions in his two subsequent runs didn’t play to his strengths. He has been a wonderful horse for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and hopefully he can resume winning ways this season.

Video Form
21 Dec 2019:
27 Jan 2018:

Marie's Rock (IRE)

Form Profile:

144 rated hurdler. Winner of her bumper and two hurdles races, notably beating Midnights’ Girl eight lengths in a listed mares' novices' hurdle at Taunton (2m 1/2f) in December.

Trainer Says:

She unfortunately had to miss the mares’ novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham when suffering a stress fracture, but she remains a very exciting filly. She wouldn’t be the biggest, but she has an enormous engine and has done extremely well over the summer. The intermediate hurdles would be the first targets and could reach the top in the mares’ division.

Video Form
14 May 2019:

Might Bite (IRE)

  • 12-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Scorpion - Knotted Midge (Presenting)
  • Owner: The Knot Again Partnership
  • Last Race: Aintree, 5 Dec 2020 15:15
  • Result: PU/18, never going and soon detached, never a factor, tailed off 10th (Bechers), pulled up soon after
  • View full form
Form Profile:

152 rated chaser. Best effort last season when finishing third, beaten 10 ¼ lengths, to Native River in the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury (2m 7 1/2f) in February. Finished seventh, bearen 49 lengths, to Easysland in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham (3m 6f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He has been a very talented enigma during his career and won an RSA and finished second in a Gold Cup and we have tried all sorts of things to bring out the best in him without success. He seems to adore jumping cross country obstacles and the plans is to go down that road again. Hopefully, we will have a lot of fun with him in Cross Country Chases this time around.

Video Form
31 Oct 2020:

Mister Coffey (FR)

Form Profile:

128 rated hurdler. Impressive length and three quarter scorer from Shakem Up’Arry on his hurdling bow at Newbury (2m 1/2f) in December but too keen and refused to set when runner-up, beaten seven lengths, to West Cork when heavily odds-on at Huntingdon (2m) in January.

Trainer Says:

He was a very impressive winner at Newbury but his next outing at Huntingdon as a complete disaster and for some inexplicable reason he just took off and wouldn’t settle. He didn’t get a chance to redeem himself and we will stick to hurdles for the time being. He has done very well, and we still have very high expectation of him.

Mister Fisher (IRE)

Form Profile:

155 rated chaser. Improved with experience over fences last season and gained his most prestigious success in the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster (2m 1/2f) in January when beating Al Dancer a length. Finished highly creditable fourth, beaten four and a quarter lengths, to Samcro in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham (2m 4f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He is a horse we have always held in high regarded and he confirmed that impression in novices’ chases last season. He won the Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster before finishing an excellent fourth to Samcro in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham and we were looking forward to the other spring festivals as he loves good ground. He can progress further this season provided he gets good ground.

Video Form
25 Jan 2020:

Ok Corral (IRE)

  • 11-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Mahler - Acoola (Flemensfirth)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Doncaster, 25 Jan 2020 15:15
  • Result: Won/14, mid-division on inside, smooth headway tracking leaders 10th, went 2nd before 2 out, challenged last, stayed on under pressure to lead towards finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

153 rated chaser. Returned to winning form when beating Fingerontheswitch half a length in the listed Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster (3m) in January.

Trainer Says:

I did fancy his chances of him giving me his and my finest hour in the Grand National but with the lockdown it didn’t happen. He had finished his preparation in great style by winning the Great Yorkshire Chase (Sky Bet) under a fine ride from Derek O’Connor and he will probably follow a similar path this time around. Let’s hope we can get to Aintree this year and give it a real good go.

Video Form
25 Jan 2020:
17 Dec 2018:

On The Blind Side (IRE)

  • 9-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Such A Set Up (Supreme Leader)
  • Owner: Mr A D Spence
  • Last Race: Market Rasen, 16 Jan 2021 14:40
  • Result: Won/8, pressed leader, led briefly 3rd, challenged from 2 out, stayed on under pressure and driven ahead inside final 110 yards
  • View full form
Form Profile:

145 rated chaser. Several solid efforts in handicap chases last season including when third, beaten 12 ½ lengths, to Fingerontheswitch at Kempton (3m) in January.

Trainer Says:

He was a little disappointing despite put in some good performances last season and he is probably a horse who prefers small fields. We ran him a jumpers bumper at Newcastle to give him some confidence back but racing ended after that. He has done exceptionally well through the summer and hopefully things can fall into place for him this time around.

Video Form
21 Feb 2020:
21 Dec 2019:
2 Nov 2019:

Precious Cargo (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Yeats - Kilbarry Classic (Classic Cliche)
  • Owner: Mr T Barr
  • Last Race: Huntingdon, 10 Nov 2020 12:45
  • Result: 2/2, tracked winner, joined leader9th, led next, headed 4 out, pushed along 2 out, kept on same pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

145 rated chaser. Winner of a novices’ chase on his reappearance at Haydock (2m ½f) in December when beating Coole Well 19 lengths and finished creditable third, beaten 12 ½ lengths, to Rouge Vif in the Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick (2m) in February before falling at the second last when travelling well in the Listed Novices’ Handicap at Cheltenham (2m 4f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He is a giant of horse who can only improve on what he has done so far. He has won over two miles, but he will appreciate two and a half miles and could have a lot more to offer this season.

Santini

Form Profile:

172 rated chaser. Winner of his first two chases last season and most impressive when beating Bristol De Mai three and a half lengths, in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham (3m 1 1/2f) in January. Ran the race of his life when finishing second, beaten a neck, to Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham (3m 2 1/2f) in March.

Trainer Says:

We’re thinking of starting him in the Betfair Chase at Haydock even though Richard (Kelvin-Hughes) and myself are not sure it’s his track and we will go for the Cotswold Chase again with the Gold Cup obviously his main objective. He had a great summer at Trull House Stud and looks tremendous and even bigger than before. He ran a fantastic race in the Gold Cup for a horse with so little inexperience and jumped beautifully and did everything that was asked of him but just got beaten narrowly by Al Boum Photo. He could well improve again this season and it would be wonderful if he was able to go one better in the Gold Cup.

Shishkin (IRE)

Form Profile:

159 rated hurdler. Winner of his three completed races over hurdles and most impressive in the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Hurdle at Huntingdon (2m 3 1/2f) in February when slamming Shan Blue 11 lengths. Confirmed his position as a leading novice hurdler when beating Abacadabras a head in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He had a nasty fall in his first race at Newbury but he never put a foot wrong in his three races after. He was very impressive when he went back to Newbury then we stepped him up in trip in the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon and he was equally impressively. He has tremendous pace so we elected to go for the Supreme at the Festival and, despite nearly being carried out coming down the hill, he came up for Nico and beat Abracadabras a head. He has incredible size and scope and has summered exceptionally well, and we could think of him as a Champion Hurdle prospect but I would think the Arkle would be this season’s objective and he is a very exciting prospect. We will decide after we have schooled him over fences, but I would be leaning that way at the moment.

Top Notch (FR)

Form Profile:

159 rated chaser and 151 rated hurdler. Made a winning reappearance in a conditions hurdle at Aintree (2m 4f) in November when beating Roksana a neck and followed up with a three quarter length vicrory from Kauto Riko in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon (2m 4f) in December.

Trainer Says:

He has won every season he has been here and has won 14 races for us so far. His first main target will be to try and win the Peterborough Chase for a third time and it could be the same as last year when we gave him a prep run over hurdles before. He is a real favourite in the yard and is a delight to have around.

Video Form
22 Dec 2018:
17 Feb 2018:

Verdana Blue (IRE)

Form Profile:

150 rated hurdler and 105 rated on the Flat. Ultra-tough mare who finished creditable third, beaten two lengths, to Fujaira Prince in the Ebor Handicap at York (1m 6f) and also runner-up, beaten a length, to Coeur De Lion in the Ascot Stakes Handicap at Royal Ascot (2m 4f) in June. Finished fourth, beaten a length, to Epatante in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton (2m) in December and has short headed another stablemate Buveur D’Air when winning that race in 2018.

Trainer Says:

She has been one of our absolute stars and just continued to progress and she ran cracker in the Ebor at York and the Ascot Stakes Handicap at Ascot on the Flat this time. Unfortunately, it rained the night before at Ascot and she loves very fast ground and that just told in the finish and we couldn’t have asked for more from her to finish a gallant third in the Ebor. We have a look at some of the good early season hurdles and if she gets her ground, she will take plenty of beating.

Video Form
16 Jun 2020:
1 May 2019:

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