Nicky Henderson sets sights on Tolworth test for Rathhill

Trainer has four contenders for Sandown Grade One

  • Tuesday 01 January
  • News
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Nicky Henderson hopes to run Rathhill in the Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

The Irish point-to-point graduate made a fine start to his career under rules in a Newbury maiden hurdle last month, carrying the colours of JP McManus to a comfortable success.

Henderson has saddled five previous winners of the Tolworth – including four in the last eight years.

The Seven Barrows maestro already has a strong grip on the novice hurdling division in Britain this season and looks primed to strengthen his hand this weekend, with Rathhill one of four entries for the champion trainer.

He said: “Rathhill won very nicely at Newbury. I was impressed with the performance and he has always looked the part. He has a great temperament and a lovely attitude to life.

“The Tolworth has been a race we’ve had in mind for him.”

Rathhill is one of three Henderson-trained and McManus-owned possibles along with dominant Warwick winner Birchdale and the exciting mare Epatante.

Lust For Glory completes the trainer’s quartet.

The standard is set by Colin Tizzard’s Elixir De Nutz, who registered successive wins at Cheltenham in November and December.

Tizzard said: “He is twice a winner at Cheltenham and he is one of the best ones we’ve had for a while.

“I will talk to the owner first, but he is working lovely and this seems the logical place to step him up.

“It will be interesting to see where he is in the betting.”

Southfield Stone could step up in class for the in-form Paul Nicholls after completing a Taunton hat-trick. The Ditcheat handler has also entered Grand Sancy.

Other contenders among a total of 16 entries include the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained pair of Muratello and Torpillo and Ben Pauling’s Bright Forecast.

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Sandown 14:25, 5 January 2019

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