Henderson hits the heights

  • Last Updated: December 8 2012, 16:54 GMT

On a memorable afternoon for Nicky Henderson at Sandown, the Seven Barrows handler saddled a four-timer with victories including the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase with Sprinter Sacre and the Markel Insurance Henry VIII Novices' Chase with Captain Conan.

Petit Robin: One of four winners for Nicky Henderson
Petit Robin: One of four winners for Nicky Henderson

Henderson's third leg came up courtesy of Petit Robin (11/1), who fended off Into Wain by a nose in the Sportingbet Handicap Hurdle .

Amateur Nico De Boinville was aboard the winner and Henderson was quick to hail the performance.

He said: "This is an amazing comeback as the horse fractured his shoulder in a fall at Ascot.

"Nine times out of 10 that would be curtains, but former owner John Poynton prevailed and thanks to him and the vets, he's racing again.

"He was a very good two-mile chaser and he'll have to go back over fences after that. He really seems to be enjoying it."

Henderson and Geraghty's winning spree was initiated by Golden Hoof, who looked a nice prospect for the future when justifying even-money favouritism in the opening John Oakley 50th Birthday 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

The trainer said: "It all fell into place for him as it did at Kempton and he hasn't had to dig deep yet.

"He's going to be a chaser and he'll probably have one more run during this part of the campaign before being put away for something in the spring, but I've nothing in mind at the moment."

Lee Westwood and his manager Chubby Chandler, the joint-owners of Golden Hoof, were unable to watch the victory in person with Westwood currently competing in the Thailand Golf Championship.

Alan King picked up a quick across-the-card double after Araldur (10-1) landed the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle under a last gasp drive from Wayne Hutchinson, having won the fillies' juvenile hurdle at Aintree earlier with L'Unique.

He said: "I can't believe that it's four years since Araldur won the Henry VIII Novices' Chase as a four-year-old.

"He's one of a group of four who had problems at the end of last season and I didn't expect him to win. He wants a proper galloping track and I think that he'll stay over hurdles for at least another run."

Kentford Grey Lady (9-2) will now step back up in class after winning the Russell Bowes Memorial Mares' Handicap Hurdle under Dominic Elsworth.

Winning trainer Emma Lavelle said: "She'll go back into Graded class and is a dream mare to have.

"I meant to go chasing but she's not easy to get fit and I've rather run out of time. We'll probably take on Quevega again at Cheltenham and she'd love it if the ground came up soft as it plays to her strengths."

Sky Bet gave her a quote of 8/1 for that contest.

Lively Baron (15-8 favourite) took the concluding Sportingbet London National for trainer Donald McCain and jockey Richard Johnson.


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