Nicky Henderson expressed his pre-Cheltenham satisfaction after working several of his Festival contenders – including the brilliant Altior – in what has become an annual gallops morning at Kempton.
The Seven Barrows maestro sent a strong team to work in resplendent sunshine at the Sunbury circuit on Tuesday, with Altior – who will be long odds-on to defend his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown next month – joined by Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Might Bite and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle favourite Champ, among others.
Might Bite and Champ completed a lap of the track together – along with the popular Top Notch – while Altior stretched clear of stablemates Theinval and River Wylde in his workout.
Henderson told The Jockey Club: “I think that was good – I’m delighted, to be fair.
“As long as they all finish together and nobody has dropped out (I’m happy). They all finished together, although not surprisingly Altior did finish a fair bit ahead of his two (galloping companions). You’d be expecting that.
“Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton) is great, and I’m very appreciative. This is something we’ve done every year – it’s worked in the past – and it’s just a nice little away-day for them.
“It was nothing dramatic, but it was a good gallop over two miles.
“I think they’ve all come through it well. Nothing has worked badly – which is the first important thing.
“Some needed it a bit more than others, but overall everyone was very happy -and it all went quite like clockwork.”
Ok Corral – favourite for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham – was joined in his gallop by Call Me Lord and Apple’s Shakira.
One Henderson inmate not in attendance was Buveur D’Air, who is firmly on course to bid for a third successive win in the Champion Hurdle.
“I didn’t bring Buveur D’Air, because I just didn’t think he needed to do it,” said Henderson.