Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

A Hard Hill To Climb For Henderson

Nicky Henderson has a hard task at Cheltenham Festival with more in the way of progressive novices than established stars heading his ‘A Team’. William Hill make it odds-on (4-6) that he will have less than 3 winners at the Festival.


“Nicky Henderson has lots of really exciting youngsters coming through, but perhaps less in terms of nailed-on favourites than he has had in the past,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


Henderson currently holds favourites for both the Triumph Hurdle and the Champion Chase; Peace & Co (2-1 Triumph favourite) and Sprinter Sacre (3-1 Champion Chase favourite) look two of the best chances for the Seven Barrows team. William Hill have priced up a special double, with odds of 12-1 for both to win.


But even if Henderson joined forces with his big rival Paul Nicholls, they would still be playing catch-up with Mullins, according to William Hill. In a special match bet, it’s 10-11 that Mullins will outscore Nicholls and Henderson combined.


“There’s about as much chance of Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls joining forces as a Conservative-Labour coalition, but if by some strange twist of fate they did, the betting suggests Willie Mullins would still beat the pair of them combined.”


Number Of Nicky Henderson Trained Festival Winners: 4-6 Less Than 3, 9-4 Exactly 3, 4-1 More Than 3


Nicky Henderson Special Double – Both Peace And Co & Sprinter Sacre To Win: 12-1


Nicky Henderson To Train The Winner Of Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase: 16-1


Number Of Winners – Match Bet: 10-11 Willie Mullins, 5-4 Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson Combined, 11-2 Tie