Henderson big guns set to fire
Our gallops reporter has been to Nicky Henderson's yard to see some of his big guns work ahead of the Open Meeting.
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SPRINTER SACRE has shown himself to be in tip-top order in his work at Seven Barrows ahead of his eagerly awaited reappearance in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday.
Last season's top two-mile novice, unbeaten in five starts over fences including the Arkle and the equivalent race at Aintree, is itching for racecourse action and will be schooled by his regular partner Barry Geraghty on Friday, when the Irishman comes over for the three-day Open meeting.
Nick De Boinville rides 'Sprinter' in most of his work at home and the gelding has been giving out all the right signals for a campaign that will take in races like the Tingle Creek and the Victor Chandler and Game Spirit Chases en-route to the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
TRIOLO D'ALENE has been a springer in the Paddy Power Gold Cup market and he looked in good shape in his latest stretch on turf.
The lightly-raced five-year-old is thought to have benefited from a wind operation in the close season.
DARLAN, who looks set to go off a red-hot favourite for the Racing Post Hurdle, has been in superb form in his work to the degree that connections feel he could be a Champion Hurdle-class horse.
Arguably unlucky not to be unbeaten over jumps, the gelding has shown himself to be fresh and well ahead of his seasonal introduction.
The giant CAPTAIN CONAN has schooled beautifully ahead of his debut over fences at Cheltenham, but looks set for a baptism of fire in a red-hot contest.
However, he's been showing unusual speed for such a big horse, leading to the consensus that the Arkle will be his long-term aim.