Henderson outlines plans
The Gallops Report for January 3 has news from Lambourn and includes Bobs Worth, Darlan, Binocular and others.
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Nicky Henderson is pondering an unorthodox preparation for some of his leading Cheltenham Festival contenders due to the inclement weather.
He is considering the possibility of taking respective Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle favourites BOBS WORTH and DARLAN straight to that meeting without another run.
Both horses have been in good form on the Seven Barrows gallops since their successes in the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Christmas Hurdle, and they looked in good order in some light work on the all-weather midweek.
Bobs Worth could tackle the Argento Chase at Prestbury Park on January 26 but Henderson is mindful that the gelding is very effective when coming back off a break, as he showed when scoring at Newbury in late November.
Equally, having dodged the bad ground with Darlan until his hand was forced into giving the JP McManus-owned gelding a race, Henderson wouldn't fight shy of keeping this hugely-talented performer under wraps until March.
Several other of the Seven Barrows 'big guns' have worked pleasingly this week including BINOCULAR, who could make his belated entry into the fray in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 27.
GRANDOUET did nothing wrong when second to Zarkandar on his own return to action in the International Hurdle and his sights are set on Wincanton's Kingwell Hurdle on February 16.
His work since that Cheltenham race suggests he could have been a shade ring-rusty for his return, as he'd been on the injury list with a minor problem that scuppered his chance of contesting the 2012 Champion.
OSCAR WHISKY took the eye in a routine stretch up the strip and the gelding will tackle three miles for the second time in the Cleeve Hurdle at the final Cheltenham meeting before the Festival at the end of the month.
Henderson refuses to accept that it was a lack of stamina that found him out in last season's World Hurdle.
CAPTAIN CONAN moved beautifully to suggest he would be very hard to beat in a re-scheduled Dipper Novices' Chase, while others to catch the eye ahead of imminent and important targets were GOLDEN HOOF and ROYAL BOY.