Big buzz over Binocular
Michael Shinners with his notes from Monday's Cheltenham media day at Nicky Henderson's yard.
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Supreme: He confirmed that My Tent Or Yours goes to the Supreme after conversations with both JP and Frank Berry. He commented that McCoy was very taken by him although he stressed that the horse requires a fair bit of work as he is a "big bull" of a horse who takes a fair bit to get fit. River Maigue also runs after a race at Ascot on Saturday that was "one of the biggest farces he had seen". He said he could run in King's Stand as he had now proved he can sprint for three furlongs at Ascot.
Arkle Nicky was bursting with enthusiasm for Simonsig. He reported that he did an exceptional piece of work on Saturday and had worked all over "a 114-rated Flat horse over nine furlongs". He seemed to suggest he would have had no worries running him in this year's Champion Hurdle and you got the feeling that he feels that he is all speed, suggesting a clash with Sprinter Sacre is far from out of the question next year.
Champion Hurdle He was very keen on Binocular who he stated was a horse who you didn't need to take blood tests to check his wellbeing. The best way to find out what sort of form he was in was to school him over four flights, which he did on Saturday morning and described him as being "electric".
Grandouet slightly surprised me as I assumed him to be a big strapping type. He is very much the opposite, although Henderson confirmed that he had missed only one piece of work and the Champion Hurdle is very much on the agenda. A number of his horses will gallop after racing at Kempton on Saturday after racing, Binocular will wait and gallop the following weekend.
Queen Mother Nothing to tell you of any interest other than Sprinter Sacre is a magnificent looking animal with a great temperament. There were in excess of 30 cameramen/photographers clicking away and he didn't turn a hair.
Finian's Rainbow is likely to run here rather than the Ryanair. He was worried about the ground beforehand at Ascot on Saturday but felt it had to run as it was stuffy and needed to get out. Geraghty reported that four out he asked it for a big one and for the first time the horse didn't respond for him (blaming the ground)
Jewson He admitted that Captain Conan was far from impressive at Sandown but said he was in tremendous form now and you would see a different horse come Cheltenham.
Ryanair Riverside Theatre runs here. He took him to Bristol after the King George thinking there may be an issue with his wind and was surprised when they diagnosed ulcers for the horse, this has been treated and he thinks catching him fresh is the key. The ulcers are brought on through stress and can build up from race to race, so first time after the break could be the key.
World Hurdle Oscar Whisky looked well, but Nicky admitted that this was very much an afterthought. He thinks that he will get the trip and that BG will be more positive on him come March. He doesn't think he was right in last year's race, so expect a massive run.
Gold Cup Nothing of great note on either Long Run or Bobs Worth other than to say he would have preferred to get a run into Bobs Worth, so he is likely to go to Kempton as well after racing.
There were some other targets mentioned including his Grand Annual runners where he plans to run French Opera, Petit Robin, Anquetta, Kid Cassidy and Tanks For That.
Interestingly in a piece of work they did when he named a who's who of all his talent that worked on Saturday including Rolling Star, Kid Cassidy was among the good horses that worked, suggesting he still has a high opinion of him?
Molotov will run in the Pendil and then the Jewson as he has blown his chance of a handicap. Tetlami looks like it will take in a handicap and Oscar Nominee was one that he mentioned for the conditional jockeys race which was interesting as he suggested he could have up to 13 runners in the race!!