Nicky Henderson Interview

Nicky Henderson Interview

My Racing Results and Horse Racing Super Tips were lucky enough to meet the mighty Nicky Henderson before the Cheltenham Festival. Here’s his opinions (and some of ours) on his best chances for this year’s Festival!

Nicky Henderson with Sprinter Sacre

Nicky Henderson with Sprinter Sacre. Credit to Ross Mitchell (

When you get invited to the stable of the most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, you make the effort, however cold! We were there reporting for your favourite website looking for all the gossip, and digging deep to find you a few horses to at least consider ahead of perhaps the most competitive National Hunt meeting on the planet next month.

Each year I head to Seven Barrow and each year I walk away with a banker yet this season they seemed slightly muted in their confidence – though I will still be in a state of shock if they don’t come away with at least a winner or two.

Most people in racing will have heard of Sprinter Sacre, the one time unbeaten Champion chaser whose heart issues have seen his career pretty much put on hold, and who many feel could have been retired if necessary. He seemed in very good health when I saw him Monday morning, and everything is now bang on target to try and regain his crown in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, though I am sorry to say that the confidence want really there that I expected – but maybe that is just being sensible when a horse has had health issues? He has apparently schooled well and they were happy with his second at Ascot when he clearly needed the run on horrendous ground, and I personally hope he will win – I am just reporting that the vibes were not as positive as I had hoped before my arrival.

The Triumph Hurdle hopes is just being plain greedy but we were shown Peace And Co, Top Notch, and Hargam who all appear to have chances, with Peace And co the current first choice. He does ooze class and schooled and galloped well when last seen, sat in behind stable mates and cruising to the front when asked, yet the trainer’s body language seemed to favour Top Notch (10/1 with Betfred). That might just be because he is easier to train of course, and he was only described as “professional”, but don’t be too surprised if he finished a lot closer than his odds imply and at his price there are worse each way chances in my book.

Moving on and we all know that Douvan is rumoured to ne one of the Irish bankers ahead of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but Nicky does seem pretty sweet on the chances of L’Ami Serge (9/2 with PaddyPower, but not for long we bet!) regardless. Yes he did joke about the Mullins beast and how good he was but he was light hearted enough to suggest he thought he may well be able to overturn the favourite in which case 9/2 looks like an each way bet to nothing barring a fall.

Other talk included Bobs worth (on target for the Gold Cup and season has gone to plan but again, a lack of enthusiasm), while Josses Hill will go well in the Arkle (will jump better in a fast run race), but I will settle for two more suggested each way bets to round off this article. Good ground is essential to see Vaniteux at his best but Nicky is adamant he is a class act so if he gets his going, he is certainly overpriced, while I got the feeling that if he had a stable banker, it would be Ma Filleule (7/1 with Betfred) who is coming to her best ahead of the meeting and is a few lengths better than we have seen so far ahead of a tilt at the Ryanair Chase, you read it here first! 

Last updated 23rd February.

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