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Nicky Henderson believes Jonbon will face a 'very big test' in Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot

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Nicky Henderson has confirmed that Jonbon will make his second appearance of the season in the very competitive Howden Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot on Friday.

A brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Douvan, Jonbon made very light work of a Maiden Hurdle during the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival weekend at Newbury last month.

However, he’ll face a ‘very big test’ in Friday’s race as Henderson confirmed with Knappers Hill, Elle Est Belle, Colonel Mustard and I Like To Move It all declared.

Jonbon and Aidan Coleman winning the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Newbury
Jonbon and Aidan Coleman winning the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Newbury

“He will run at Ascot on Friday and that was always the intention,” said the trainer. “He is in good shape and everything has gone well.

“The horses in this race are all top class, so it will be a very big test for him.”

It’s set to be a big weekend for the Seven Barrows team as a strong team heads to Ascot on both Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday, three will head to post in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle and he explained how preparations were going for it

“They will all run,” he said. Nico [De Boinville] rides Buzz, Jonjo O’Neill Jr rides Champ and James Bowen rides On The Blind Side.

“It all hinges on a lot of things. Does Buzz stay three miles? We don’t know. You could say it’s a confidence booster for Champ, but he could still run well because he is a very high-class horse.

“On The Blind Side never runs a bad race, he doesn’t know how to and he is always competitive and he was a very good second in the Stayers at Newbury.”

Last weekend, Henderson had runners at Cheltenham and Doncaster with some good performances on show.

Fusil Raffles, who finished fourth in the Racing Post Gold Cup, was one that the trainer was pleased with.

“He ran a fantastic race, he made one mistake at a very bad time and it knocked him onto the back foot for a moment.

“Impulsive One ran very well in the G2 Juvenile at Doncaster on ground he wouldn’t like, but he would be a better horse on Good ground because he is a good horse.

“The only one you can’t quite fathom is Broomfield Burg, who looked like he was going to win by 10 minutes turning in.

“I am not sure what happened really, I can’t explain it.”

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