Henderson in festival form

WITH the Cheltenham Festival rapidly approaching, Nicky Henderson showed that his string are peaking at just the right time with a Huntingdon double.

Fresh from two winners at Doncaster 24 hours earlier, Henderson was on the mark with Tetlami (11/10 favourite), in the Huntingdon Racecourse Novices' Chase, and Miss Ballantyne (3/1), in the racinguk.com Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Tetlami had proved no match at all for Overturn at Musselburgh on his last start and his supporters faced an anxious moment here as he came off the bridle going down the back straight.

After being given the hurry-up by Barry Geraghty, he soon came swinging round the field on the outside.


And by the time they hit the straight, Tetlami had the race won, although he needed to be kept up to his work to beat Tony Star by three lengths.

Henderson and Geraghty also teamed up with Miss Ballantyne to beat 13/8 favourite Floral Spinner by two lengths.

Jockey Daryl Jacob feels Easter Day could be the perfect type to excel at Aintree in April after he strolled to victory in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

The Paul Nicholls-trained youngster was a standout on the formbook, having finished second to Jonjo O'Neill's Taquin De Seuil in a Grade One at Newbury.

Because of that he was sent off the 4/9 favourite for the race, better known as the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle, despite giving plenty of weight away to all his rivals.

Jacob had already won on the five-year-old at Fontwell and Ascot and took his tally to three from three on him with an all-the-way, four-length success over Nataani.

Nicholls had taken him out of the Cheltenham novice events earlier in the week, but Jacob feels Aintree could be perfect for him.

"He's a very good novice," said Jacob.

"I'm three from three on him now and he did it well.

"It wasn't ideal making all the running on him but when we realised nothing else would go on we decided to just keep it as straightforward as possible.

"He's not going to Cheltenham so I imagine it will be Aintree for him.

"That should suit him well there as it's usually lovely ground."

Jacob had earlier won on David Arbuthnot's Rocky Elsom in the TurfTV Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

Sent off at 9/2, he had only been put up 3lb for a Plumpton win and there appears to be more to come still.

Punters would do well to keep in mind the fact that when Jacob teams up with Arbuthnot, the pair operate at a strike-rate of more than 25pc.