Cheltenham Festival – Nicky Henderson

Notes on Nicky Henderson’s contenders at The Festival 2015:

 

 Horse Entries Rating Summary
NOVICE HURDLERS
Aigle De La See PIPE 127* French import; two wins from two starts for Nicky Henderson, scoring in Sandown Park hcap hurdle (2m 4f) on Jan 31 & taking Ffos Las nov hurdle by 10l on Feb 15
Birch Hill PIPE 124 Fifth in 2m 4f+ nov hurdle at Cheltenham on Jan 1; sixth in Musselburgh nov hurdle (3m+) on Feb 1
Bivouac NEP, WINT, TRI 139* Ran 3rd G2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park on Saturday; fifth (beaten 14½l) to Peace And Co in G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (2m 1f) at Cheltenham on Jan 24; narrow winner of juv hurdles at Kempton Park (Dec 27) & Sandown Park (Dec 5)
Caracci Apache NEP, ALB 146 Unbeaten in three hurdle appearances, most recently when beating Blaklion by a head in G2 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (3m+) at Doncaster on Jan 24; won over 2m 5f at Plumpton on Jan 4 & over 2m+ at Sandown Park on Dec 6
Cardinal Walter SUP, NEP 138 Rated 91 on Flat; 7l winner on hurdling debut at Doncaster on Dec 12; runner-up (beaten 6l by Qewy) in 2m+ nov hurdle at Newbury on Feb 7
Clean Sheet PIPE 135* Successful over 2m 4f+ at Fakenham on Feb 13 (beat Chidswell by 3l); short-head winner of Newbury nov hurdle (2m+) on Dec 29; beaten 1¼l by Caracci Apachi at Sandown Park on Dec 6
Clondaw Banker PIPE 122 Kempton Park bumper winner in Jan 2014; winless in four starts over hurdles; third (beaten 2½l) on latest outing in Doncaster maiden hurdle (2m 3f+) on Jan 23
Cup Final PNF 136 Second-season novice; 10th (45l behind Faugheen) in G1 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f) at The Festival in 2014; 2l winner of Sandown Park Pertemps qualifier (2m 6f) on Dec 6
Hargam TRI 144 Flat winner over 12f in France; second (beaten ¾l by Golden Doyen) in G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (2m+) at Cheltenham on Nov 15; 1¼l winner of JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (2m 1f) at same course on Dec 13; scored by 6l on latest start in Listed juv hurdle (2m) at Musselburgh on Feb 1
Kilcrea Vale NEP No rating Successful in Irish point-to-point in May; won by 26l on debut for Nicky Henderson in 2m 3f nov hurdle at Market Rasen on Jan 15
L’Ami Serge SUP 153 Dual Listed runner-up over hurdles in France & yet to be beaten in three starts for Nicky Henderson; facile 6l winner of Listed intermediate hurdle (2m+) at Newbury on Nov 27; scored by 7l in G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (2m) at Ascot on Dec 19; 14l winner of G1 32Red Tolworth Hurdle (2m+) at Sandown Park on Jan 3
Out Sam ALB 142 Unbeaten in two starts in nov hurdles, winning by 3l at Newbury (2m 5f) on Nov 28 & by 1¾l at Ascot (2m 6f) on Jan 17
Peace And Co TRI 155 Three from three over hurdles, including easy win at Clairfontaine (France) for former connections; took Doncaster G2 juv hurdle (2m+) by 19l on Dec 13; stayed on well to beat Karazek by 3l in G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (2m 1f) at Cheltenham on Jan 24
Snake Eyes O’BRIEN 128 Sixth in valuable Leopardstown hcap hurdle (2m) in Jan 2014 & 10th in same race on Jan 18; scored at fifth time of asking over hurdles with ½l victory in Sandown Park hcap hurdle (2m+) on Dec 6
Spartan Angel PIPE 118 Won 2m Worcester maiden hurdle (2m 4f) by 6l in June; runner-up (beaten 4l) on latest start in Ascot hcap hurdle (2m 6f) on Dec 19
Sweet Deal CORAL, PIPE 131 Twice won on good ground in June, 2014, taking Aintree maiden (2m 1f) hurdle by 2½l and posting 10l success in 2m Uttoxeter nov hurdle; 10th (beaten 29l) on latest start in Listed hcap hurdle (2m) at Musselburgh on Feb 1
Theinval CORAL, PIPE 134 Twice runner-up in 10 starts over hurdles and fences in France; 6l winner of Kempton Park hcap hurdle (2m) on Nov 24; beaten neck by Alternatif same course in 2m 5f hcap hurdle on Dec 26
Top Notch TRI 144 Unbeaten in five starts; eligible to run in JCB Triumph Hurdle but not a novice, having captured a pair of hurdle races in France in March & April; comfortable winner of juv hurdles at Newbury (2m+) on Dec 29 & at Ascot (2m) on Jan 17; easily won 2m Haydock juv hurdle by 9l on February 14
Vyta Du Roc NEP, ALB 147 Beaten a neck by Parlour Games in G1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f) at Newbury on Dec 29; successful on four previous starts including nose victory in G2 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2m 4f) at Sandown Park on Dec 5; scored by a neck in G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (2m+) at Cheltenham on Nov 16

 

NOVICE CHASERS
Cocktails At Dawn CLUB 135 11th (beaten 53l by Faugheen) in G1 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f) at The Festival in 2014; yet to win in three starts over fences, most recently when well-beaten fourth in Kempton Park hcap chase (2m 4f+) on Jan 10
Golden Hoof CLUB 137 Three-time winner over hurdles & won 2m 4f Aintree nov chase by 6l on Oct 25; placed on both subsequent starts, most recently when 13l-third in Wetherby hcap chase (2m 4f+) on Dec 26
Josses Hill ARK, JLT 150 6l runner-up to Vautour in G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in 2014; impressive winner of G2 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree the following month; second (beaten 9l by Ptit Zig) on chase debut in G2 nov chase (2m 3f) at Ascot on Dec 19; comfortably took Doncaster nov chase (2m+) on Jan 9; went down by ¾l to more-experienced Third Intention in Kempton Park graduation chase (2m 4f+) on Feb 6
HURDLERS
Bear’s Affair CORAL, PNF 152 Won four of eight starts over hurdles; second in hcap hurdles at Wincantion (2m6f) and Aintree (2m 4f) last twice; most recent victory came in 3m hcap chase at Aintree in May
Beat That WORLD 160 G1-winning novice at Aintree (3m+) and Punchestown (3m) in April; faded to sixth on comeback in Dornan Engineering Hurdle (2m 4f+) at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day
Big Hands Harry PNF 130 Beaten fav when sixth in Pertemps qualifier at Warwick (3m 1f) on Jan 10; won 3m nov hcap chase at Ascot on Nov 22
Blue Fashion WORLD 152 Lightly-raced French import; two starts for Nicky Henderson, most recently when second (beaten 3¾l) to Faugheen in G2 Ascot Hurdle (2m 3+) on Nov 22; also second to More Of That in hcap hurdle (2m 4f) at Haydock Park in November, 2013
Call The Cops CORAL, PNF 133 Dual winner over hurdles, most recently at Ludlow (2m 5f) in April; fourth (beaten 6¼l) to Brother Brian in hcap hurdle (2m 5f) at Kempton Park on Nov 3
Cool Macavity O’BRIEN 132 Beaten 13l when eighth to Bayan in Ladbroke Hurdle (2m) at Ascot on Dec 20; won 2m hcap hurdle at Punchestown Festival in May
Dawalan CORAL, PNF 150 Appreciated step up in trip this season, winning at Aintree (2m 4f) and Musselburgh (3m); runner-up to Sign Of A Victory in Listed hcap hurdle (2m) at Ascot on Nov 1; sent off favourite when 13th in Fred Winter Juvenile Hcap Hurdle at The Festival in 2014;
Full Shift CORAL, PIPE 135 Not run since coming 11th (beaten 30l) in Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hcap Hurdle at The Festival in 2014; won two of three hurdle starts before that at Kempton Park (2m 5f) and Newcastle (2m)
Hammersly Lake CORAL 144 Runner-up in hcap hurdles at Cheltenham (2m+) and Newbury (2m 3f) first two starts this season; did not replicate that when 11th (beaten 72l) behind Tea For Two in hcap hurdle (2m 5f) at Kempton Park on Jan 10
Lough Kent O’BRIEN 129 Well-beaten last two starts in hcap hurdles at Taunton (Feb 17) and Newbury (Dec 29); 20th in the Vincent O’Brien County Hcap Hurdle at The Festival in 2014
Lyvius CORAL 145 Caught in the final strides when second in G2 hcap hurdle (2m 3f+) at Ascot; fifth (beaten 8¾l) to On Tour in 2m 4f hcap hurdle at Haydock Park on Nov 22; eighth in Vincent O’Brien County Hcap Hurdle at last year’s Festival
Mayfair Music OLBG, CORAL, PIPE 135 Decisive winner of Listed mares’ nov hurdle at Doncaster (3m+) in March; well-beaten two starts this season, most recently when fifth (beaten 27l) behind Glens Melody in Listed event (2m 5f) at Warwick on Feb 7
Polly Peachum OLBG 155 PU and dismounted last time out in Listed event (3m+) at Kempton Park on Nov 24; impressive winner of mares hcap hurdle (2m 6f) under top-weight at Wincanton on Nov 8; won OLBG.comSupports Mares’ Jump Racing Mares’ Hcap Hurdle (2m 5f+) at Cheltenham in April
River Maigue CORAL, PIPE 140 Not run since PU in nov hcap chase at Kempton Park (2m 4f+) on Boxing Day; won once in six starts over hurdles; G2 runner-up at Cheltenham in November, 2012
Rolling Star CORAL, O’BRIEN 145 Fifth (beaten 44l) in hcap hurdle (2m 3+) at Ascot on Feb 15 after a year off; not won since taking 4yo hurdle (2m) at Haydock Park in November, 2013; sixth in JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in 2013
Royal Irish Hussar CORAL, O’BRIEN, PIPE 140 Fifth (beaten 8l) in 2m 1f hcap hurdle at Cheltenham on January 24; high-class juvenile hurdler, completing hat-trick in G2 event at Cheltenham in November, 2013; sixth to Tiger Roll in JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in 2014
Sign Of A Victory CHAMP, O’BRIEN 147 Facile winner of 2m Listed hcap hurdle at Ascot on Nov 1; proved no match for Faugheen when fourth (beaten 31l) in G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day; filled same postion behind Blue Heron in G2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Feb 14
Vaniteux CHAMP 154 Third to Vautour in last year’s Sky Bet Supreme Nov Hurdle at The Festival; runner-up in all three starts at Cheltenham this season, including (beaten 6l) to The New One in G2 StanJames.comInternational Hurdle (2m 1f) in December; found Rock On Ruby 2½l too strong in Dornan Engineering Hurdle (2m 4f+) on New Year’s Day
Vasco Du Ronceray CORAL, O’BRIEN, PIPE 140 Recorded first win for two years when annexing 2m hcap hurdle by 5l at Haydock Park in November; UR when weakening in Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Feb 7; fifth (beaten 22l) behind Our Conor in JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in 2013
Volnay De Thaix CORAL 158 Cruised to victory under top-weight in a hcap hurdle (2m 4f) at Huntingdon on Nov 11; fourth 11 days later in Fixed Brush Hcap Hurdle (3m) at Haydock Park; runner-up (beaten 2¼l) to Rock On Ruby in G2 Osborne House Relkeel Hurdle (2m 4f+) at Cheltenham on Dec 13
Whisper WORLD 164 Won Coral Cup at The Festival in 2014 and followed up in G1 Liverpool Hurdle over 3m at Aintree in April; only outing this season yielded a second in a beginners’ chase (2m 3f+) at Exeter on New Year’s Day
CHASERS
Anquetta JHGA 139 Has run in the last four renewals of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual, finishing sixth, fourth, ninth and 10th; last seen out when fifth (beaten 36l) in 2m 1f hcap chase at Newbury on Nov 29; latest win came in 2m 4f hcap chase at Market Rasen in May
Bobs Worth

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GOLD 166 Three-time winner at The Festival – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2011), RSA Chase (2012) and Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (2013); sent off the 6/4 fav to retain his Gold Cup crown last year after winning G1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown (Dec 28, 2013), but could only finish fifth; eighth in sole start this term in Lexus Chase behind Road To Riches
Captain Conan RYAN 161 Four-time G1 winner including three novice chases during 2012/2013 campaign – the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (2m) & Challengers Novices’ Chase (2m 4f+) at Sandown plus Manifesto Novices’ Chase (2m 4f) at Aintree; beat Sire De Grugy in G2 nov chase (2m) at Cheltenham in Nov 2012 but not seen since pulling up behind same horse in Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival in 2014
Ericht CORAL, BROWN, WALWYN 133 (c) 135 (h) Four starts in hcap chases at Cheltenham this season, most notably when third to Johns Spirit at The Showcase in October; sole win over fences came in 2m 4f nov chase at Musselburgh in February, 2014; dual winner over hurdles and fifth in Coral Cup at The Festival in 2013
Finian’s Rainbow QM 158 Enjoyed finest hour with 1¼l victory over Sizing Europe in 2012 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase; dual G1 winner at Aintree, taking Maghull Novices’ Chase (2m) in 2011 & Melling Chase (2m 4f) in 2012; PU on latest outing in G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup (2m 4f) at Cheltenham in November 2013
French Opera BROWN, JHGA 149 Could make seventh appearance at The Festival following five runs in Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase (3rd in 2009 & 2nd in 2010) and a sixth in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2011; dual G2 winner at around 2m in 2011; sixth on latest appearance off top-weight in 2m Sandown Park hcap chase on Jan 31
Hadrian’s Approach ULTIMA 151 Third behind Lord Windermere in 2013 RSA Chase; game winner of G3 bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park in April, 2014; sixth on seasonal return in G3 Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase (3m 2f) at Cheltenham on Dec 12; PU in 3m+ hcap chase at Sandown Park on Jan 31
Hunt Ball RYAN, BROWN 155 Prolific chase scorer in 2011/2012, culminating with 8l success off 12st in Cheltenham Club Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival; twice third in G1 chases, including 2013 Ascot Chase (2m 5f+); runner-up (beaten 3¼  by Splash Of Ginge) in 2m 5f G3 handicap chase at Cheltenham on Jan 1; last of three in Kempton Park Listed chase (2m 4f+) on Jan 10
Ma Filleule RYAN, GOLD 159 G2 winner over hurdles (2m 3f) and impressive 8l scorer in G3 Topham Chase at Aintree in April, 2014; close third to Sam Winner (beaten 1½) in Listed chase at Aintree on Dec 6; went down by 3¼l to Balder Succes in G1 Ascot Chase (2m 5f+) on Feb 14
Rajdhani Express RYAN, BROWN 155* Prom wknd when 7th in G3 BetBright Chase (3m) at Kempton Park on Feb 21; Successful in Cheltenham Club Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival in 2013 & third in Ryanair Chase last year; fourth in G2 chase (2m 3f) at Ascot on Nov 22; last of six in G2 Betfred Peterborough Chase (2m 4f+) at Huntingdon on Dec 7
Shakalakaboomboom FWKM 122 G3 hcap chase (3m 1f+) winner at Cheltenham off 140 in Dec 2011; ninth in 2012 Crabbie’s Grand National; now rated 122 over fences after pulling up in two of three latest starts, including in hcap chase (3m 2f+) at Cheltenham on Jan 1
Sprinter Sacre QM 188 One of the best 2m chasers of modern times with seven G1 wins including scintillating displays in the 2012 Racing Post Arkle Chase (beat Cue Card by 7l) and the 2013 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (beat Sizing Europe by 19l); spent a year on the sidelines with fibrillating heart; returned to action with 3l second to Dodging Bullets in G1 Clarence House Chase (2m 1f) at Ascot on Jan 17
Tanks For That BROWN, JHGA 137 Veteran of five previous Festivals, coming home second to Bellvano in the 2012 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase; won valuable 2m hcap chase at Cheltenham in Nov 2011; PU on first start since Punchestown Festival in 2m hcap chase at Wincanton on Feb 14

GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2015 – CLICK HERE

 

 

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