• Racing/
  • Big Guns Clash In Adonis

Racing UK Subscribe For Cheltenham Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m

  • (4yo, 2m, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £15,661 2nd £5,877 3rd £2,942 4th £1,466 5th £737 6th £368
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 58.55s
  • Off time: 14:08:11
Full result
Result 14:05 Kempton Park
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 2 Irish Saint 5/4f
2nd 4 Vasco Du Ronceray ½ 5/2
  • Last Updated: February 22 2013, 17:53 GMT

View from connections ahead of Saturday's Racing UK Subscribe For Cheltenham Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton.

Irish Saint: Represents Paul Nicholls in the Adonis
Irish Saint: Represents Paul Nicholls in the Adonis

Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have used the Racing UK Subscribe For Cheltenham Adonis Juvenile Hurdle to unearth a Triumph winner in recent years and both are trying to bolster their squads again at Kempton on Saturday.

As has been the case in their battles all season, Britain's top two trainers are hard to separate in the Triumph betting, with Henderson's Rolling Star and Nicholls' Far West generally the joint-favourites at this stage.

Of the last six runnings of the Adonis, Henderson has landed half with Triumph hero Soldatino and subsequent champion hurdlers Punjabi and Binocular, and this time he fields Vasco Du Ronceray and Courtesy Call.

The former scored on his British debut at Hereford before going down to Far West at Cheltenham and Kashmir Peak at Doncaster, while Courtesy Call makes his jumping bow.

A prolific middle-distance performer for Mark Johnston, he last ran off 86 when second in the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket.

"I want to get a run into them both, and they are both in the Triumph," said Henderson.

"Courtesy Call is a good horse and just I haven't been able to run him. He isn't very big but he jumps very well.

"He had a busy Flat campaign and has to have good ground, so there was no point in asking him to do anything in that (soft) ground."

Nicholls, whose Champion Hurdle hope Zarkandar collected the Adonis in 2011, saddles Irish Saint.

He has a course and distance victory to his name already but came off worst in basically a match with Rolling Star at Cheltenham.

"Irish Saint is a different type of horse to Far West, he's more of a chaser but he has got decent form," said Nicholls.

"The idea was to go Kempton and then Aintree but if he won and was impressive, then he could still go (to Cheltenham)."

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Alan King is another trainer to have used the Adonis to good effect, as his first Triumph winner Penzance lifted the race back in 2005.

King is hoping his runner L'Unique might follow the example of two very fine fillies who managed the double.

Yet another import from across the Channel, L'Unique is unbeaten in two starts, including one over the course and distance.

"She has done nothing wrong since arriving from France, winning twice impressively, but we are going up in class and this will tell us whether she is a genuine Triumph Hurdle contender or whether we should lower our sights and aim for the Fred Winter," King told his website.

"L'Unique schooled on Monday morning and is in very good form and, while the experts appear not to be keen on fillies for the Triumph, Mysilv and Snow Drop did OK, so we shall see."

Gary Moore has two representatives, with by far his first string being Chris Pea Green, a wide-margin winner at Lingfield and in the Chatteris Fen at Huntingdon.

Shadarpour has shown little in three starts since arriving from France and Moore said: "It's a fact-finding mission with both of them.

"Shadarpour has been very disappointing and I want to try him on better ground.

"With Chris Pea Green I want to find out if he's good enough to run in the Triumph.

"He's going to have a lot of weight in the Fred Winter otherwise. He is a horse who continues to amaze me, and he has such a great attitude."