Weekend racing review: Don't write off Pentland Hills just yet
Chad Yeomans says Nicky Henderson's horse is not out of Champion Hurdle contention after defeat at Cheltenham, and reveals two others that caught his eye.
If all those who contested the International Hurdle on Saturday were to run again in the Champion Hurdle in March, then I’d very surprised if Pentland Hills didn’t finish closest to the front.
After watching the race back a few times, he is certainly not one to write off just yet.
He was very keen throughout but travelled well and jumped slickly, before getting tired on his first run of the season.
Earlier on the card, Nicky Henderson also saddled Mister Fisher to win the 2½m Novices’ Chase.
At only five years old he’ll improve for racing, but I still see him as some way off top class. He’ll give his owners some fun, but I don’t think he’ll be winning a JLT this season.
Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
In the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, Warthog got his head in front on the line despite looking beaten as they jumped the last.
He showed tremendous grit to battle back up the hill and has an obvious affection for Cheltenham.
In behind, Robin Des Foret caught the eye after travelling well and jumping superbly, but found the lack of recent race fitness a disadvantage. But he’ll be winning soon, that’s for sure.
The same goes for Imperial Presence, who will no doubt make all in a handicap chase on a flat track in the coming months.
We saw Andy Dufresne get beat at Navan yesterday and, I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t see it coming. He was beaten fair and square and probably lacks that extra gear we all thought he had in his locker.
Ones to watch
Looking ahead to this weekend, I can’t wait to see Paisley Park again at Ascot. He looked very good at Newbury last month and stayers at the top of their game are very hard to beat.
It’s also the Betway Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock on Saturday and I’d love to see last year’s winner Daklondike follow up. He ran a great race on his first start over hurdles this season, and to give his owner two big Saturday winners in a row would be great.
I’ll be at Lingfield Park for the Betway Quebec Stakes on the All-Weather this weekend. Wissahickon won the Listed race for John Gosden last year and, at the five-day entry stage, he has three of the seven entries for the renewal.
Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.