House adds to Henderson's Festival hand

Impressive Newbury winner firmly in Cheltenham picture.

  • Saturday 08 February
  • News
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Chantry House can look forward to an outing at the Cheltenham Festival after maintaining his unbeaten record under rules in the Set Your Own Odds On Betfair Exchange Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury.

The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old followed up his debut triumph over hurdles at Cheltenham with a facile success under a penalty in the extended two mile prize.

Moving smoothly into contention under Barry Geraghty, the 8-15 favourite cruised through to join long-time leader Manvers House after the last, before being shaken up to score going away by four and a half lengths.

Henderson said: “Barry said he was good and everyone is happy. He is a smart horse. He was just very green when he won at Cheltenham, but that was a while ago.

“Barry says he races very sweetly, kindly and gently. He is not aggressive in any way. He travels away, you press the button and it works. You have got to be pleased with what he did, he came away nicely. He is very straightforward.”

But the Seven Barrows handler was not committing to which race out of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Chantry House would contest at the Festival.

He said: “As Barry said, you really could go either way (at Cheltenham). We know he stays and he has got the speed. You have got to stay in both races. We will have a look at both of them and just sit on the fence.

“Walking down with AP (McCoy) I said I would be surprised if he wouldn’t want another half a mile.

“Shiskhin will go two miles, but that can’t cloud the issue.”

One For The Team opened his account for the campaign with a dominant display in the Betfair Bet In-Play Handicap Hurdle.

Finishing in the frame in his three previous starts this season, the Nick Williams-trained six-year-old gained his just reward with victory in the three-mile prize.

Pressing on down the home straight, the 4-1 chance stayed on strongly to defeat Dolphin Square by 14 lengths.

Colin Garner, spokesman for the Forty Winks Syndicate, said: “That was unexpected. We were trying to get him in the Pertemps, but I think he has done his handicap mark now! He is in the Albert Bartlett as well, but we don’t have to go to Cheltenham.

“He is a lovely horse for the future and you can see he is a chasing type. He has got a lot to do, but we are deliriously happy. The big thing was he really enjoyed that ground, as we thought he relished heavy ground.”

Ocean Wind moved a step closer to giving trainer Roger Teal a rare runner at the Cheltenham Festival after storming to an eight-length victory in the Listed Racing… Only Bettor Podcast Bumper.

Teal said of the 7-2 shot: “He is a little star. He has got a lovely manner about him and he switches off. He was a Godolphin horse, so he is nicely bred and has got some gears.

“We were helped today by the ground drying up and I was about the only trainer hoping for it to dry up.

“At Cheltenham the last day he just got stuck in the mud. Back on better ground he found that electric turn of foot.

“He might be more suited to Aintree, but the owners’ dream is to go to Cheltenham and you can’t take that away from them. He will go for one or the other.”

House adds to Henderson's Festival hand
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