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Nicky Henderson Open Day
Wed, Feb 20th, 2013

The Cheltenham Festival's most successful trainer, Nicky Henderson, held his open day at his Seven Barrows stable on 17 February.

Newsboy from the Daily Mirror was there and provided this feature via The Punters Club YouTube Channel:

Racing Post TV were also there and released this feature:

 as were Betfair:

 

Henderson had news on the intended targets and general well being of his star horses:

Chasers

Sprinter Sacre ( Champion Chase Favourite) : "He's a natural athlete. He's as good a looking horse as you'll ever see.  You put it all together, it doesn't always work. Bobs Worth is no oil painting, he's just a nice horse but when Sprinter comes along, it's a totally different ball game. He's just a gorgeous horse that has got a lot of natural talent. It's all just terribly easy for him. We won't be complacent as he has got to learn not to be. He hasn't been yet but he doesn't want to be. They all say he hasn't beaten anything but you can only beat what's put in front of you and he's just kept doing that and our job is to make sure that that continues."

Finian's Rainbow ( 2012 Champion Chaser ): "He's the reigning champion chaser. I would have to admit that was disappointing on Saturday although I hardly went in there full of confidence. Barry is absolutely adamant that he does not go in soft ground. He was the one that we felt had to have a race because he's only had one run this year and he's a different type of horse altogether to a Grandouet or a Bobs Worth. He desperately needed a run. OK, so you might say, I wish I hadn't done it but I was talking to Michael this morning and just said, I've watched it 100 times, maybe it wasn't quite as bad as it looked. He just doesn't operate on that. Barry said, about four or five out, he went to go long and it was the first time in his life he's ever let him down. And that is just ground, ground, ground. He won't go Gold Cup, that you can rest assured. I think there's every possibility he'll come back to two. But it's got to be good ground. That's our line of thought at the moment.

Long Run (2011 Gold Cup winner): I've been doing a lot of schooling with Long Run here. Last week, he jumped 10 fences with Nico, absolutely wonderful. I'm not sure, maybe he will go up and join Yogi he's coming Thursday next week. I don't think anything's ever changed. You don't see anything flashy about it. He worked with Binocular and Binocular was probably a little bit quicker just at the end. You'd expect a two-miler to beat a three-miler. Not beat, but just find that little bit of extra kick but it was a bloody good gallop over a mile and a half. We haven't decided yet whether he will wear cheekpieces for the first time but it is likely.

Bobs Worth (Gold Cup Favourite): I would have liked to run but it doesn't mean we can't do it. He was fresh into the Hennessy. Probably did take a blow there so we're mindful of that but he'll be straighter than he was in the Hennessy. He is the baby. He lacks the experience. I thought he did going into the RSA last year, but he was very good and he loves Cheltenham. Yes he's got work to do but we're on schedule, very much so. This is where we find out who he is, what he is. He's not reached the superstar status that Sprinter Sacre seems to have done purely because he hasn't had the opportunity to do so. He was the best staying novice of last year and he didn't have an easy year last year and it hasn't actually been that easy this year or I would have run him in the meantime. That day at Cheltenham that we missed, we all agreed at the end of the day, thank goodness we were forced to miss it. Otherwise would we have even run him if it had been all right? I think it  is very wide open but I don't there is a standout horse. Silviniaco Conti you wouldn't say he was earth shatteringly impressive at Newbury but it was a very satisfactory trial.. I'm sure. There's nothing that's come out and said "Christ, look at that ". So Bobs Worth, Long Run, they've got as good a chance as any.

Riverside Theatre (2012 Ryanair Chase Winner): He is defending his crown and seems to be forgotten about. He is going to Kempton, actually. He's in great form. He was nearly disappointing in the Ryanair except he won it ! For the way he was in the Ascot Chase, you'd have to say he was disappointing in the Ryanair and then he was awful at Aintree. He was disappointing in the King George but then we went to Bristol [veterinary hospital]. I was expecting to find some sort of respiratory, which we didn't. We found something completely different. And it was significant.... It was surprising because the horse always looks very well. A lot of these horses, we know now, have ulcers and you can usually tell which ones and he would not be one but Bristol are very, very good. I sent him down there to check his wind out and it turned out he just had ulcers. And that's why he's always been good fresh because ulcers are created by stress and pressure and training. That explains why he's always good first time and then it deteriorates because once you stress horses, it's the same in humans you get ulcers. But luckily they're treatable and so they're all treated, he's in great form. I was quite tempted to go to Ascot but the boys said, we know we're proven fresh, so let's just wait. But the ulcers are under control. They've been checked and they're gone. But they were bad.

Hurdlers

Oscar Whisky (World Hurdle Favourite): "does not need a race course gallop like some of his other stars and is better over 2m4f. I'm still campaigning for a Ryanair Hurdle"

Grandouet: "will not go to Kempton this Saturday will probably go for a race course gallop a week later".

Binocular: "would jump a fence for fun if you asked him and will go to Kempton on Saturday".

Novices

My Tent or Yours: (Supreme Novices Hurdle favourite): "definitely goes for the Supreme at Cheltenham Festival."

Simonsig: (Arkle favourite): "He is quite fresh right now. Yogi Breisner to come down next week for a session, possibly including Long Run". Added that a 114 rated flat horse got "absolutely annihilated" by Simonsig last Saturday and that he wouldn't be out of place in a Champion Hurdle.

Captain Conan: Henderson was very bullish about  Captain Conan advising the attending media that they would see' a completely different horse'. He had also nominated Captain Conan as his charity bet on the phone to the UCD Cheltenham Festival preview from The Goat in Dublin.

Chatterbox : Henderson indicated he would speak to head of synidicate tonight but that he's unlikely to go to the festival.

We have been tracking news from the stable throughout the season on the Nicky Henderson Stable Tour thread on our forum.

 

 

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