Monday 11 December 2017

Henderson eyes Festival redemption for Binocular

NICKY Henderson believes Binocular is in the right shape to redeem himself in the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

Two years ago Binocular was reported an unlikely starter as he was suffering from a muscular problem, only to later start and capture Cheltenham's two-mile championship. However, he couldn't run last year when a prohibited substance used to treat an allergy would still have been in his system.

As Henderson paraded the eight-year-old yesterday, he appeared more than satisfied with the way Binocular looked, having re-entered calculations with an effortless victory at Wincanton earlier this month. "He was going to have a racecourse gallop and when he ran, we thought he might need it, but he didn't," Henderson said. "He looks slick and happy and enjoyed the other day."

Oscar Whisky, third in last year's Champion, steps up to three miles to challenge triple winner Big Buck's in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. The trainer has a strong hand of youngsters, but has not chosen whether Simonsig will head for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle or step up in trip for the Neptune Investment Management event.

Recent 'jumpers' bumper' winner Tetlami and Darlan, which is reported to be none the worse for his horror fall in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, are both on course for the Supreme.

Sprinter Sacre will attempt to justify hot favouritism for the Arkle Novices' Chase, while Bobs Worth delighted the team when second at Ascot last weekend and continues to thrive ahead of the RSA Chase.

Irish Independent

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