• 9 b g Enrique – Bleu Ciel Et Blanc (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE))
  • Form: 1121/113/5311/3114/32114–3
  • Owner: JP McManus
  • Breeder: Elie Lellouche

Placed at Listed level on the Flat in France when trained by Elie Lellouche; has won 11 of his 21 starts over hurdles including the 2010 Stan James Champion Hurdle and two Christmas Hurdles at Kempton Park.

Also placed in 2008 William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle (second) and 2009 Stan James Champion Hurdle (third) at The Festival.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 21; Wins: 11; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 5; Win & Place Prize Money: £747,578

Last Run
Third to Hurricane Fly in the Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown (soft to heavy) on 27 January, beaten five lengths.

Entries so far at The Festival (Distance – Value)
Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (12 March) 2m 110y – £400,000

Henderson said: "He worked last Saturday with Long Run on Mandown. We boxed them both up and drove them around village twice so they did not where they were going. He worked well. Hurricane Fly beat Binocular comfortably in Ireland but he won't beat us so comfortably at Cheltenham. The run has brought him along a lot.

"He was lame after last year and then late in which explains the one run this season – I was tempted to run him last Saturday but the ground was heavy.

"He will go to Kempton on Saturday and work after racing. His schooling sessions tell us how he is."



  • 6 b/br g Al Namix (FR) – Virginia River (FR) (Indian River (FR))
  • Form: 331/52113B/1F11–2
  • Owner: Simon Munir
  • Breeder: Dominique Le Baron

Won once (April, 2010) from three starts over hurdles in France when trained by Guillaume Macaire; developed into a leading juvenile hurdler for current connections in the spring of 2011, finishing third in the JCB Triumph Hurdle and winning a Grade One at Punchestown. Made a smooth transition to open company with a four-length success in 2011 International Hurdle and returned from injury in the same contest this season.

Jump Race Record: Starts: 14; Wins: 6; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £226,754

Last Run
Second to Zarkandar in the Grade Two International Hurdle, run over an extended two miles, at Cheltenham (heavy) on 15 December, beaten two lengths.

Entries so far at The Festival (Distance – Value)
Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (12 March) 2m 110y – £400,000

Henderson said: "He is clean-winded and does not need as much work so he won't be going to Kempton on Saturday (to work after racing). He ran very well in The International and does not need to find an awful lot on that form.

"I would like Darlan back, but sadly I cannot have him, because he might have been the one – that is the way it goes."


Photograph by Ian Yates

Nicky Henderson's Cheltenham preparations