Nicky Henderson prepares strong team for Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury Racecourse
Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson labelled the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival Gallops morning as ‘ideal preparation’ ahead of the two-day showpiece at Newbury.
The Ladbrokes Winter Carnival returns to Newbury Racecourse in just over a week’s time, with both Friday and Saturday expected to host a capacity crowd.
Ahead of the Carnival, the racecourse held their annual gallops morning and welcomed a lot of their members back with plenty of horses on show, including Enrilo, Epatante and Clan Des Obeaux.
“To be able to come here is fantastic, the timing is perfect and it’s an ideal preparation for the Ladbrokes weekend,” said Henderson.
“All credit to Newbury and Keith [Ottesen] because they have given us some beautiful ground which has helped because we haven’t been able to get on the grass at home because I haven’t got the watering system they have.
“There are a lot of good races across the weekend,” he added. “Epatante goes north to Newcastle, but hopefully the rest of them will be at Newbury and it’s a great opportunity to get them ready for it.
“It’s a big weekend, it’s probably our favourite weekend because it’s local and it is always a friendly crowd with a great atmosphere.”
Brave Eagle is Henderson’s only Ladbrokes Trophy entry, but Mister Coffey, Jonbon and On The Blind Side are all expected to run over the weekend.
Epatante, who was also part of the travelling team to Newbury on Tuesday, will line up once again in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle - the same day as the Ladbrokes Trophy.
“I thought she was great, she was in great form and she has been working very well.
“She will go to Newcastle again and we have ironed out a few things since last year,” he said. “Her back has always been her problem and it’s what we have concentrated on.”
The trainer also confirmed that Champ will miss the Betfair Chase at Haydock this weekend and instead run in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree next month.
“We will go to Aintree for the Many Clouds because he just is not ready and he has had back surgery because you saw what happened at the first two fences during the Gold Cup.
“He put too much into jumping when he came to Newbury over two miles.”