Horseracing: Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson says timing is right for Beware the Bear
Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson is looking for victory at the Ladbrokes Trophy
Seven Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson believes the “timing should be perfect” for Beware The Bear to have a crack at the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury later this month.
The Grade 3 steeplechase is the feature race across the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury with a host of stars on show across two days on November 27 and November 28.
The racecourse held its annual winter gallops on Tuesday morning, ahead of the meeting and Henderson, fellow Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex, Emma Lavelle, Gary Moore, Kim Bailey, Tom George and Ben Pauling all brought stable stars to gallop.
Henderson, who has one runner in Beware The Bear for the Ladbrokes Trophy, said: “He has run really well in this race before and the difference we found out with him is that we always thought he wanted to be up there when coming out of the gate.
“It is the right race for him because he is a genuine stayer. Jerry [McGrath] always rides him and we won’t be forcing him early on.
“We will drop him in so he can find his feet a little bit and he enjoyed himself around the gallops.
“He was supposed to be at Cheltenham, but he was pretty heavy and he needed an extra week so the timing should be perfect.”
Fellow stablemates Altior, Santini, Floressa and Marie’s Rock were also in attendance for the Seven Barrows yard as the jumps season is in full swing.
Santini, who has not run since Cheltenham in March, is expected to run in the William Hill Many Clouds Chase at Aintree next month.
Henderson said: “He had an entry in the Betfair Chase on Saturday, but I never thought that it was his sort of track and I don’t think Kempton is either, which makes life difficult.
“He is a horse who wants a big galloping track and if you saw him schooling the other day, he looked electric.”
Meanwhile, Altior, who hasn’t featured since winning at Newbury in February, is heading for the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 5.
Henderson said: “He is good – he loves his jumping and I used him as a pacemaker at the gallops.”
Elsewhere, Wiltshire trainer Emma Lavelle spoke of her disappointment that De Rasher Counter, who won the Ladbrokes Trophy last year, is out for the season after suffering a leg injury.
She said: “There isn’t a lot wrong with him, but there is a little bit of shake in that tendon.
“I am not going to try and get him back this season, we’ll give him time and bring him back for next season.”
Meanwhile Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex, who has La Bague Au Roi entered in the feature race, admitted that the ground will be key.
He said: “ If it is soft ground she probably won’t come, but if it is good-to-soft or better then she will probably take her chance.”