• Racing/
  • Henderson Not So Simple For Simonsig

Betfred Novices' Chase (Registered As The Noel Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) 2m 3f

  • (4yo+, 2m 3f, Class 1, 5 runners)
  • Winner £16,881 2nd £6,360 3rd £3,183 4th £1,590 5th £798 6th £399 7th £198 8th £102
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 3.80s
  • Off time: 14:31:00
Full result
Result 14:30 Ascot
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 4 Simonsig 2/9f
2nd 5 Sulpius 49 25/1
  • Last Updated: December 20 2012, 17:42 GMT

Trainer Nicky Henderson has no idea how Simonsig will handle what promises to be ultra-testing conditions on his chasing debut at Ascot on Friday.

Simonsig: Set for his chasing debut
Simonsig: Set for his chasing debut

The six-year-old was a brilliant winner of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival and was similarly impressive on his final start of the campaign at Aintree.

He is already a best-priced 3-1 favourite for the Arkle Trophy back at Cheltenham in March and faces four rivals on his fencing introduction in the Grade Two Betfred Novices' Chase.

"In fairness, we don't really know how he is going to handle heavy ground," said Henderson.

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"I'm told he handled soft ground when he won his point-to-point in Ireland, but he's never run on anything worse than good to soft since he joined us.

"He did travel like a very good horse when he was second to Fingal Bay over hurdles at Sandown last year and it was pretty soft that day, so we just have to hope for the best.

"It's going to be horrible ground tomorrow, I'd imagine, but if he hates it he's just going to have to put up with it as I have to get him out.

"He had a little niggling problem about a month ago, but he has done mountains of work and schooling since then and everything has gone well."

Simonsig faces Act Of Kalanisi, Ashbourne Folly, Dare Me and Sulpius.

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