Nicky Henderson is looking forward to testing the credentials of the exciting JCB Triumph Hurdle entry Heross Du Seuil, who headlines the South West Syndicate Juvenile Hurdle on Friday’s card at Warwick.
Heross Du Seuil had an entry in Saturday’s Grade Two Close Brothers Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park, but Henderson has opted to head to the Midlands with his charge, who carries the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning colours of Marie Donnelly.
The four year old made the perfect start to his career when winning a juvenile event by 10 lengths at Kempton in December and Henderson explained that he was keen to pick up another win for a horse who is a general 25-1 chance for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™ supporting WellChild.
Henderson said: “This looks a bit easier for him (than Kempton), and I want to win a race with him. He’s got a bit to learn and he’s only had one race over hurdles in his life, but he’s an improving horse that’s got a bright future, so we’ll see.”
Heross Du Seuil’s six opponents include the Dan Skelton-trained Cabot Cliffs and Jeremy Scott’s The Worthy Brat, who was third behind the hugely promising Monmiral in a similar event at Exeter in November.
Scott feels that the drying ground will play into the hands of his young hurdler. He said: “I’m hoping the ground at Warwick will be a lot better than the ground he ran on when he ran at Sandown last time, which was quite deep.
“I’m hoping that will bring out some improvement, as we’ve been waiting for that with him, so we’re hoping he’ll run a nice race.”
Also on the card is the Budbrooke Handicap Chase over two and a half miles, which includes one of Scott’s leading lights in Champagne Court.
The eight year old struggled when last seen at Newbury in December, but his trainer is hopeful that the drying conditions will have the desired effect for his charge, who is able to take his chance off 3lbs lower than his last winning mark.
He said: “He’s run OK this season, but we’ve always felt that better ground would be the key to him. He’s been in terrific form at home and I’m looking for a big run.”
Meanwhile, Henderson is also represented in the race, and is responsible for both Precious Cargo and Claimantakinforgan.
The latter is making his return from an 831-day absence after a few injury issues, and his trainer is looking forward to seeing him back in action.
He said: “He’s been off for a long, long time, he’s had all sorts of problems, but it would be good to get him back on track, especially if the ground keeps drying up. He’s good to go, and it’s a matter of getting a run under his belt.”
Henderson added that he was hopeful of an improved effort from Precious Cargo, who has had a wind operation since his reappearance run at Huntingdon in November.
He said: “He’s back after a break and a wind operation, after having an issue with his wind. He loves soft ground, but if you’ve got wind problems, soft ground doesn’t necessarily help you.
“It can amplify any imperfections in their breathing mechanism – so you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place really. You run him in soft ground it’s more likely to find his wind out, and if you ran him on fast ground, he wouldn’t go on it, so it’s tricky. But I’m hopeful and he’s a lovely big horse.”
Elsewhere on the card, Scott sends Demon Fou in the third race, the Watch On Racing TV Novices' Handicap Chase. The eight year old is a two-time winner over hurdles and his trainer is looking forward to seeing how he fares on his chasing debut.
He said: “It’s his first time in a chase and this level of race is very hard to find. Warwick does take a lot of jumping, but he jumps very well at home.
“He schooled very well this morning so it’ll be a nice introduction for him I hope – but the first priority is to get home safe and sound, and then to win the race. It’s very much a case of seeing him get round, that’ll give us our best finishing position.”
Lastly, Henderson sends out £40,000 purchase Hurling Magic for his debut in race two, the British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows trainer said: “He’s been waiting a very long time to have his first start but he’s a nice horse and I like him