Fri, 28 Feb 2020
SEVEN Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson believes Monte Cristo needs time to develop, despite securing victory in only his second-ever run in the England.
The four-year-old has only been with Henderson since the start of November, having previously trained out of Jean-Philippe Dubois' stables in France.
It's only the second time that Monte Cristo has had a run under Henderson, having previously finished fourth at Cheltenham last month.
Speaking after the win in the Juvenile Hurdle in Newbury, Henderson said: "He jumped well, he'll make a chaser, but he has a lot of developing to do yet because I think he is still a weak horse.
"He might have another run somewhere, but he had a good time today as he didn't have to get very serious," he added.
Henderson followed up this success with a second winner of the afternoon as Gran Luna won the final race of the afternoon.
Speaking after the race, he said: "She's quite a smart filly and the experience was good because she travelled quite well and she knew what she was doing."
Meanwhile, fellow Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex also enjoyed a winner at Newbury on Friday as Roccowithlove won the Handicap Hurdle, with Richard Johnson on board.
Speaking after the race, he said. "Once he went down the back, we knew it would take a good one to get past him and he galloped all the way to the line.
"He keeps on going, he'll be alright," Greatrex said. "We'll go chasing next year so it was good to get his head in front."
In the opening race of the afternoon, trainer Jonjo O'Neill picked up the win as Flight Deck, under Jonjo O'Neill Jnr, edged out Iconic Muddle who finished second.
Meanwhile, the 6/1 priced Indian Brave battled from behind to beat Pres and win the Novices' Handicap Steeple Chase.
Brinkley handed trainer David Pipe victory in the National Hunt Novices Hurdle Race, with Tom Scudamore on board.
Despite a valiant effort from Do Your Job, it was the five-year-old who took the victory while Coeur Serein finished in third place.
In the penultimate race of the afternoon, the Alastair Ralph-trained Billingsley edged out Boagrius to win the Handicap Steeple Chase.