The trainer intends to saddle three in the Boxing Day showpiece at Kempton with Long Run, who will be ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, lining up alongside Ryanair Chase winner Riverside Theatre and Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Finian’s Rainbow.
Geraghty has the choice of the two and Henderson would rather have his plans in place.
“Riverside worked at Kempton on Monday and went very well with Darlan and Grandouet, who comes out this weekend (in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham), Darlan will probably wait for the Christmas Hurdle,” Henderson told At The Races. “We’ve always planned to send Riverside straight to the King George as he goes so well fresh, he’s won first time out every time. He’s in great order.
* Tom Gibney plans to start preparing Lion Na Bearnai for the Goffs Thyestes Chase at the end of next month after his comeback in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
The Kells trainer had been admirably frank about the chances of last season’s Irish National winner when interviewed ahead of the prestigious Newbury handicap, and was proved correct when he was eventually pulled up before the last.
“I knew he wasn’t 100% as he had missed some work, and more importantly he had missed a prep run,” Gibney said.
“It was still a bit disappointing but that was the classiest race he has run in and he’d have needed to be 110% to win it.
“He has come back fine and you’d look at getting him ready for the Thyestes (Gowran Park, January 24). I think there’s a race somewhere around January 5 that he could go for first.”