Nicky Henderson to check Peace And Co for breathing issues

Nicky Henderson will check Peace And Co for any potential breathing issues after he disappointed at Sandown on Saturday.
Nicky Henderson to check Peace And Co for breathing issues

Last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner looked more composed than on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham in December, but he could still only finish third in a Listed race at the Esher circuit.

Henderson said: “We’ll look at his breathing apparatus in the morning.

“I’ve not seen anything else untoward, he might have made a little noise but he’s otherwise fine.

“Effectively, it was his first run since the Triumph as at Cheltenham he just sprinted for a mile.

“We wanted to go to Haydock but he wasn’t quite right and we missed three days.

“It’s so hard for the five-year-olds. Top Notch is the same, where can we run him?

“Peace And Co will come on an awful lot — he was big and burly — but he’ll have to, of course.”

Yesterday Henderson sent an strong team north to Musselburgh in search of better ground and while morning rain turned the going soft, he at least added O O Seven to his Cheltenham team of novices.

With Altior and Buveur D’Air firmly on course for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, O O Seven booked his ticket for the Neptune, despite winning a trial for the Albert Bartlett.

Ironically, O O Seven (11-10 favourite) beat Fagan, owned by Ronnie Bartlett, who sponsored the race through his potato company and who has horses with Henderson.

Fagan made the winner pull out all the stops but went down by three-quarters of a length.

Henderson said: “It was a shame those two had to fight it out Christopher (Hanbury, owner) and Ronnie are great mates and play golf together. Ronnie even picked us up from the airport.

“I think after that we’ll be looking at the Neptune as two miles and five furlongs might be far enough at Cheltenham.

“Andrew (Tinkler) felt he was pulling up a little in front but he might not want to go any further so we might go for the Neptune.

“He’s still babyish but he’s got plenty of class He’s next year’s chaser, really.”

The Henderson-trained Cup Final was the best-backed horse of the day in the closing Pertemps Qualifier but Barry Geraghty had to be at his strongest to get him home.

Sent off the 11-8 market leader, having been available at 5-1, he is now 10-1 favourite with Sky Bet for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham in March.

“He probably had to win to get in, so at least he should now,” said Henderson.

Shrewd (5-1) made sure the totepool Supporting Scottish Racing Scottish County Hurdle stayed at home with an impressive display.

Racing from just out of the handicap, Shane Shortall jetted in from Ireland to take the mount and was coolness personified on the six-year-old, trained by Iain Jardine at Len Lungo’s old yard in Dumfriesshire.

“This was the plan and I’d doubt that he’ll get into the County Hurdle. I’m not sure Cheltenham is his track, either,” said Jardine.

“He might go for the Cheltenham consolation race at Kempton — he has loads of options.”

Tommy Silver further strengthened Paul Nicholls’ hand in the juvenile hurdling division with a comfortable success in the totetrifecta Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial.

With stablemates Clan Des Obeaux and Connetable already prominent in the ante-post lists for Cheltenham, Tommy Silver landed short odds (4-6) with the minimum of fuss for Sam Twiston-Davies.

“For only his second ever run they were really windy conditions to cope with and that’s why he ran wide on the bend,” said Twiston-Davies, who has now ridden a winner at every National Hunt course in Britain.

“He already looks a chaser and he’s got a bright future.

“That will give the lads at home something to cheer, anyway.”

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