Mon, 04 Dec 2017
Over the water in Saturday's big race
NICKY Henderson scored a one-two at opposite ends of the country to make it a winning Ladbrokes Winter Carnival weekend at Newbury.
But his biggest winner was at Newcastle, where Buveur D'Air put his recent work-out at Newbury to good use by winning the Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle in emphatic fashion, just 50 minutes before his Whisper finished second to Irish horse Total Recall in Newbury’s jumping showpiece.
Henderson settled to watch Buveur D'Air’s win on television alongside Sir AP McCoy and owner JP McManus, and thee horse romped home at 1/6 on under Barry Garaghty.
Back on track at Newbury, Henderson’s Whisper was beaten by favourite Total Recall over the final yards after running an outstanding race.
“We nearly thought we'd nabbed a race that is very special to us,” said Henderson. “You have got to be very proud of the horse and Davy Russell gave him the most fantastic ride.”
As for Buveur D’Air, Henderson was quietly satisfied: “It was good and he did what he had to do. Anything else would have probably been disappointing,” he said.
Henderson did have winners at Newbury, one on Friday when Santini won the Ladbroke Novices Hurdle and beat stable-mate Chef Des Obeaux into second place.
And Saturday saw the Seven Barrows team take the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase with 13/2 shot Gold Present.
Fellow Lambourn trainer Mark Bradstock’s Coneygree had to be pulled up in Saturday’s feature race with breathing issues but, said the trainer: “He's been an absolute superstar and owes us nothing.”