News Jenkins spearheads Betfair assault for race specialist Henderson

Jenkins spearheads Betfair assault for race specialist Henderson


Nicky Henderson has five potential runners as he bids for a sixth victory in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

Jenkins, who is joint-favourite with some bookmakers, has got his act together since being fitted with blinkers and was impressive on his last two starts at Kempton and Ascot.

"He doesn't work in blinkers. He worked in them once and all we did was jump four hurdles in them. We didn't think it made any difference at the time but it certainly seems to on the racecourse," said Henderson.

"He was very keen throughout the Ascot race over two-mile-three. I was worried he was doing too much but it didn't stop him coming home well. I was very impressed."

The other possible stable representatives are Kayf Grace, Lough Derg Spirit, Charli Parcs and Verdana Blue.

Henderson added: "I think they are all in good form. They've all done a little bit of sharper work this morning.

"I think Kayf Grace has a great chance. She has issues with muscle enzymes, but we did her blood on Monday and it has never been better, which is very pleasing.

"I like Lough Derg Spirit. I think he ran a great race in the Elite Hurdle (in November) and this has always been the objective.

"Charli Parcs ran a good race at Newbury the first time. He might be the worry if we get a lot of snow and very soft ground, but his work is excellent.

"If you say anything works really well, it is Verdana Blue and she is in the Champion Hurdle. She loves a good pace and is a two-miler only.

"They are all two-milers, there is no doubt about that."

Henderson is not represented in the Betfair Denman Chase, with his chief Gold Cup contender Might Bite instead heading straight to Cheltenham in March.

"He did a bit of work this morning on the grass and Nico (de Boinville) rode him and Altior," said the trainer.

"There is a plan for a racecourse gallop. It is unlikely to be at Newbury this weekend but we will go somewhere in a fortnight.

"He could have two (racecourse gallops) if we wanted to, but I doubt it. He is a very clean (winded) horse."