February 4, 2012 at 14:02 #20922ZarkavaParticipant
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Connections of Binocular will have to go back to the drawing board after the abandonment of Saturday’s card at Sandown.
The 2010 Champion Hurdle winner was set to take in the Contenders Hurdle as part of his preparation for next month’s Cheltenham Festival, a Listed prize he has secured for the past two seasons.
But with the fixture beaten by the cold snap, Nicky Henderson will have to find his classy hurdler an alternative prep race in the next week or two.
The Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran Park in Ireland, the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton and the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso are all potential destinations.
Frank Berry, racing manager for owner JP McManus, said: "As it stands at the moment, I don’t know where he’ll run. We’re going to have to wait and see what happens with the weather. We have a few options, but we can’t say for definite which way he’s going yet. The weather is going to be important."
BHA communications consultant John Maxse added: "Not being a Grade One race or Grade Two race, the Contenders Hurdle would not automatically be considered for re-staging. Furthermore, there are alternative options with comparable conditions coming up at both Wincanton and Kelso.
Nicky Henderson admits he’d face a major headache if the cold snap continues to bite into next week.
"We can’t afford to be losing Newbury next weekend from my point of view. Apart from Long Run in the Betfair Denman Chase, we’ve got the Betfair Hurdle and the other important race for me is the Betfair Super Saturday Chase where I’d like to run Sprinter Sacre," he told Racing UK’s Mark Your Card programme.
"Burton Port was due to run on Saturday and now has to come in somewhere else, there is a handicap at Ascot the following weekend on the card where Riverside Theatre is due to make his comeback.
"It’s all gearing up but all getting nastily close too. Really I want it all over and done with by the weekend after next – the end of that Ascot meeting – and by then there’s an awful lot horses I’d like to have races.
"There’s the novice hurdlers, the novice chasers, as well as the Long Runs, Riverside Theatres and Burton Ports."
Awwwwww.February 4, 2012 at 16:19 #389821MarkTTParticipant
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Maybe time to look at the racing management side of the operation, Nicky.
14 more winners than Nicholls, £450,000 less prize money.
Lack of entries in some races has to be questioned.
Now the weather is severely upsetting the schedule.
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