Fri, 19 Oct 2018
Nicky Henderson at his Seven Barrows stables in Lambourn
Britain's champion Jump trainer Nicky Henderson has a wealth of talent at his Seven Barrows yard north of Lambourn, with his team boasting superstars including Altior, Might Bite, Buveur D'Air and Terrefort.
Henderson has once again readied a powerful battalion of horses for the current season as he goes for a sixth champion Jump trainer title.
One of his rising stars is classy four-year-old We Have A Dream, who is unbeaten in five starts in the UK since coming from France last year.
The son of Martaline's highlights last season included G1 success in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in January and an impressive victory in the G1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival in April.
We Have A Dream, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, could make his seasonal debut at Cheltenham's first meeting this season, The Showcase, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27.
Henderson is considering the £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.35pm), run over two miles on day two of The Showcase, Saturday, October 27. We Have A Dream would probably have to take on old adversary Gumball (Philip Hobbs), whom he defeated by seven lengths at Aintree in April.
We Have A Dream was set to run in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners in March, but had to miss the Cheltenham race because of a temperature.
Henderson explained: "We Have A Dream summered well and is in good form at home. He is unbeaten and, while he has not grown a lot, I am happy with him.
"I like him and he enjoyed a good season last term.
"The only issue we had with him last year was when he got a temperature on the Monday before Cheltenham, so we couldn't run him in the Triumph which was a shame.
"He won very well at Aintree after that and the manner in which he scored there, you would have to think he could have gone very close in the Triumph.
"I would say that the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham for four-year-olds is a possibility. He would have to carry an 8lb penalty, but he has won two G1s.
"The Unibet International Hurdle (G2 £130,000, run at The International at Cheltenham on December 15) is possibly a race to consider afterwards."
First run in 2009, the Masterson Holdings Hurdle has rapidly established itself as an attractive early-season target for four-year-old hurdlers.
The roll of honour includes Tiger Roll, who took the spoils for owner Gigginstown House Stud and trainer Gordon Elliott in 2014.
Tiger Roll had landed the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle earlier in 2014 and has since won another two races at The Festival presented by Magners - the 2017 National Hunt Chase and the 2018 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.
Tiger Roll went on to gain the biggest prize in Jump racing, the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April.
Other high-class winners of the Masterson Holdings Hurdle include Dodging Bullets (2012), who was subsequently successful in the 2015 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival presented by Magners and Sceau Royal (2016), who progressed to score in G2 company over hurdles and at G1 level over fences.
The Showcase offers record prize money of £370,400 across the two days in 2018 - a boost of £51,400 (16 per cent) on the £319,000 in 2017. The increase is part of the £8-million cash injection announced by The Jockey Club in December of last year.
The biggest prize money boosts at The Showcase apply to the two Randox Health-sponsored handicap chases run on Saturday, October 26.
The two contests (one run over two miles and the other over three miles and a furlong) both have a total prize fund of £60,000 (up from £50,000 in 2017).