Henderson strikes again

Nicky Henderson has used the cantorspreadfair.com Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle to great effect in recent years and he stuck again when Restless D’Artaix gained a comfortable eight-length victory.

Nicky Henderson has used the cantorspreadfair.com Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle to great effect in recent years and he stuck again when Restless D’Artaix gained a comfortable eight-length victory.

The 11-10 favourite’s success earned the Seven Barrows handler his fourth winner of the extended two-mile event in five seasons.

Mick Fitzgerald, riding the winner, stalked the early pace set by Desert Secrets and under a patient ride, had the leader in his sights turning in.

Desert Secrets (25-1) eventually succumbed, but the pair pulled clear in the straight, with Original Fly five lengths behind the pair in third.

Restless D’Artaix received a quote of 25-1 for the Triumph Hurdle with Paddy Power, who make Afsoun the 10-1 favourite, but Henderson sounded a note of caution.

“He’s a nice horse, but he would want soft ground. It was a good performance, just what you want from the babies – not that he is, because he’s won in France and we know he was in a good race here last time (when third to Turko).”

Gallant Approach supplemented last month's Huntingdon success with another equally eye-catching round of jumping to take the Raffin Stud Greatwood Caring For Retired Racehorses Novices' Chase.

The Charlie Egerton-trained six-year-old made much of the running in the three-mile event under a patient ride by Andrew Tinker.

The pair fought off the persistent challenge of eventual third Bob The Builder and then had plenty in reserve when He’s The Guv’nor (12-1) threw down the gauntlet between the last two.

Though he was sometimes deliberate over his fences, the 7-2 winner was flawless throughout, but after the length-and-a-half victory, Egerton was keen to play down the result.

“He’s done it well, but he’s beaten nothing. I thought the same at Huntingdon, but the handicapper seemed to have a different view.

“There are no plans for him. I will keep him in novice company, keep him low and try and win another one.”

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