Cheltenham Festival News
Tuesday 23rd February 2016
   

Nicky Henderson Stable Visit

Nicky Henderson was in an optimistic mood today ahead of The Festival, with Sprinter Sacre in the best form since taking the Grade One Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2013.

Nicky Henderson

Sprinter Sacre goes for the same race this year, the £350,000 feature of the Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 16 and the trainer is hoping to saddle up to five runners in the opening day highlight, the Grade One Stan James Champion Hurdle (£400,000) on Tuesday, March 15, plus Polly Peachum in the Grade One OLBG Mares' Hurdle (£100,000).

Josses Hill and Captain Conan are his likely challengers for the Grade One Ryanair Chase (£300,000), while Bobs Worth and Whisper, plus maybe Different Gravey if supplemented, are being aimed at the Grade One Ryanair World Hurdle (£300,000), the two main races on St Patrick's Thursday, March 17.

Henderson will have a large team for The Festival, whose four days are the highlight of the Jump season, with representatives in most if not all of the novice races and handicaps.

He said at today's stable visit organised by Cheltenham Racecourse and attended by 50 media: "Sprinter Sacre excites me. He is at his best of this season now. He is in great form and we are happy with him.

"He is well and feisty - tanking along the gallops - I like him at the moment. His gallop on Saturday was great. I am not sure I need to take him to Kempton next week for another one - I am in two minds.

"He looks great - Nico (de Boinville) felt he was so good at Cheltenham (Shloer Chase) first time out this season - we did have him very fit as it was the acid test. He was probably fresher and better at Cheltenham than he was at Kempton at Christmas.

"He would be a sharper horse now than at Cheltenham the first time and I think he would be a better horse than at Kempton. Also he likes Cheltenham better than Kempton.

"The gap has narrowed between Sprinter Sacre and the herd but they haven't caught him yet. He is nicely aggressive at the moment - he wants to do it - his attitude is great.

"I would be hopeful with him at The Festival, which we are able to get to this year on his terms, without having to rush anything. It has been a good journey. The appreciation he got from the crowd at Cheltenham in November was great.

"I said to Nico first time out - don't disappoint him -if he wants to take you, great. He went up the hill and suddenly took off, like he used to, and the race was dead in 10 strides. He got a bit tired in the end but that is where we can find a little more. Somebody, some day has got to get upsides Un De Sceaux and see what happens. I hope it will be us."

The Lambourn trainer switched his attention to the opening day: "All five of mine in the Stan James Champion Hurdle can run and it is perfectly possible that all would go for the race, though that is not certain.

Sign Of A Victory
© Racehorse Photos
Sign Of A Victory

"Sign Of A Victory has to have very good ground - he is in good form but must have the right going. Where else do we go with him? He is too high in the handicap to run in the County Hurdle. The ground can change quite quickly at Cheltenham.

"Top Notch and Hargam look in good shape and have done lots of work. Top Notch was great at Kelso, the perfect preparation and everything is cool with him. I have also said that with him and Hargam if you have good ground, then Hargam might come out better, though with very soft ground it would be the other way around. Hargam had a gallop with My Tent Or Yours the other day at Kempton (February 12) and they will be going somewhere to work together this weekend.

"There are a lot of horses (at least a dozen) going to work at Kempton on the All-Weather a week today (February 29) like we always do.

Peace And Co
© Racehorse Photos
Peace And Co

"Peace And Co, who has had a cauterised palate operation, is over that and cantering away. He has only just had a run. It is not the ideal preparation but we can get him there. He definitely made a noise at Sandown which we had not experienced before. Forget his first run of the season at Cheltenham - he ran like a headless chicken for a mile - and so Sandown was like his first run in a year. His back was sore - we have been trying to iron out a lot of things in one go. He can get there.

"We thought of running My Tent Or Yours in the Kingwell (Wincanton) but the ground would have been detrimental. We talked about the bounce factor but we have eliminated that by not running him beforehand!

"It is a hell of a shock coming into a race after any lay-off but two years without a run into the Stan James Champion Hurdle is massive - we are realists and we would buy three weeks if we could but we are going to have a go if all is well. We are having to condense things but he is tough and hardy. His gallop at Kempton was ideal and went very well. Can I retire if he wins the Champion Hurdle?

"Peace And Co and My Tent Or Yours are the best two horses of mine in the Champion Hurdle, while Hargam and Top Notch are both very good and not just there to make up numbers.

"Anything can happen in the next three weeks before The Festival. If any horse is not able to run at Cheltenham, then that is shattering for an owner who has dreamed of getting there."

Henderson would be happy with one winner at The Festival but is hopeful of having more.

Synopsis - Nicky Henderson is the all-time leading trainer at The Festival with 53 successes.

He has won the Jump trainers' championship three times - 1985/86, 1986/87 and 2012/2013.

Winner of The Irish Independent Leading Trainer Award at The Festival:

1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2010, 2012

Born - Lambeth, London, on December 10, 1950

Background - The son of financier and amateur jockey John Henderson MBE, who founded Racecourse Holdings Trust, the forerunner for Jockey Club Racecourses, he was educated at Eton and the Royal Agricultural College.

He worked for stockbrokers Cazenove in London and Australia, where he gained experience riding work at Randwick, before devoting himself full-time to racing.

Henderson first made his name in Britain as an amateur rider, finishing runner-up three times in the non-professional championship. His main wins as a jockey came on Happy Warrior in the 1977 Fox Hunters Chase at Aintree and on Acquaint in Sandown's Imperial Cup in the same year. Henderson recorded his 78th and final win on Rolls Rambler in the Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford in June, 1978.

He became assistant trainer to Fred Winter in 1974 and received his own training licence in July, 1978, taking over from Roger Charlton at Windsor House Stables in Lambourn, Berkshire. He moved to Seven Barrows, to the north of the village, in 1992, after swapping yards with Peter Walwyn.

One of Britain's leading Jump trainers, Henderson has sent out over 2,500 winners and been at the top of his profession since 1985. His unprecedented tally at The Festival includes a joint record five Stan James Champion Hurdles, six JCB Triumph Hurdles, five Racing Post Arkle Chases, two Timico Cheltenham Gold Cups, three Betway Queen Mother Champion Chases, two Ryanair World Hurdles and two Ryanair Chases.

First Winner As A Trainer - Dukery at Uttoxeter, October 14, 1978.

Cheltenham Festival Wins (53)

Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1986 River Ceiriog, 1992 Flown)

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (1991 Remittance Man, 1993 Travado, 2000 Tiutchev, 2012 Sprinter Sacre, 2013 Simonsig)

Ultima Handicap Chase (2000 Marlborough)

Stan James Champion Hurdle (1985, 1986 & 1987 See You Then, 2009 Punjabi, 2010 Binocular)

Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (2013 Rajdhani Express)

Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (2012 Simonsig)

RSA Chase (2005 Trabolgan, 2012 Bobs Worth)

Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992 Remittance Man, 2012 Finian's Rainbow, 2013 Sprinter Sacre)

Coral Cup (2010 Spirit River, 2014 Whisper)

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (2012 Une Artiste)

Ryanair Chase (2006 Fondmort, 2012 Riverside Theatre)

Ryanair World Hurdle (1989 Rustle, 2000 Bacchanal)

Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (1985 & 1986 The Tsarevich, 2005 Liberthine, 2006 Non So)

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (1990 Master Bob, 2002 The Bushkeeper, 2005 Juveigneur)

JCB Triumph Hurdle (1985 First Bout, 1987 Alone Success, 1999 Katarino, 2009 Zaynar, 2010 Soldatino, 2015 Peace And Co)

Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1993 Thumbs Up, 1997 Barna Boy)

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (2011 Bobs Worth)

Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (2011 Long Run, 2013 Bobs Worth)

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (2009 Andytown)

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (2006 Greenhope, 2012 Bellvano)

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (2015 Call The Cops)

Cathcart Chase (1990 Brown Windsor, 1994 Raymylette, 1999 & 2000 Stormyfairweather)

The Festival Wins by Year

1985 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (The Tsarevich), JCB Triumph Hurdle (First Bout)

1986 : 3 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (River Ceiriog), Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (The Tsarevich)

1987 : 2 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (See You Then), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Alone Success)

1988 : no winners

1989 : 1 - Ryanair World Hurdle (Rustle)

1990 : 2 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Master Bob), Cathcart Chase (Brown Windsor)

1991 : 1 - Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Remittance Man)

1992 : 2 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1992 Flown), Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Remittance Man)

1993 : 2 - Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Travado), Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Thumbs Up)

1994 : 1 - Cathcart Chase (Raymylette)

1995 : no winners

1996 : no winners

1997 : 1 - Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Barna Boy)

1998 : no winners

1999 : 2 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Katarino), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2000 : 4 - Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Tiutchev), Ultima Handicap Chase (Marlborough), Ryanair World Hurdle (Bacchanal), Cathcart Chase (Stormyfairweather)

2001 : no winners

2002 : 1 - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (The Bushkeeper)

2003 : no winners

2004 : no winners

2005 : 3 - RSA Chase (Trabolgan), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Liberthine), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase (Juveigneur)

2006 : 3 - Ryanair Chase (Fondmort), Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (Non So), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Greenhope)

2007 : no winners

2008 : no winners

2009 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (Punjabi), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Zaynar), Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle (Andytown)

2010 : 3 - Stan James Champion Hurdle (Binocular), Coral Cup (Spirit River), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Soldatino)

2011 : 2 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Bobs Worth), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Long Run)

2012 : 7* - Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (Simonsig), RSA Chase (Bobs Worth), Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Finian's Rainbow), Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Une Artiste), Ryanair Chase (Riverside Theatre), Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Bellvano) - *new record figure by any trainer at The Festival in one year - broken by Willie Mullins' eight in 2015. His second day total of four winners is a joint record with Mullins who achieved four on the first day of The Festival in 2015.

2013 : 4 - Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase (Simonsig), Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Radjhani Express), Betway Champion Chase (Sprinter Sacre), Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Bobs Worth)

2014 : 1 - Coral Cup (Whisper)

2015: 2 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Peace And Co), Pertemps Network Final (Call The Cops)

 
Horse Breeding Owner Festival entries Rating Summary
NOVICE HURDLERS
ALTIOR 6 b g High Chaparral (IRE) - Monte Solaro (IRE) (Key Of Luck (USA)) Owner: Patricia Pugh
Supreme 154

Won Market Rasen bumper on debut in May, 2014; staying on third to Barter's Hill in Newbury Feb, 2015 bumper on next start; sixth in Champion Bumper at Punchestown and unbeaten in four starts over hurdles (at around 2m) this term; won minor events at Chepstow and Ascot in October before a game 0.5l victory over Maputo in the G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Nov 15; has not run since defeating Open Eagle by 13l in novices' hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day

BADEN 5 gr g Martaline - Ma Sonate (USA) (Val De L'Orne (FR )) Owner: Triermore Stud
Neptune

Changed hands for £160,000 in May after winning a 3m Irish point-to-point; runner-up to North Hill Harvey (btn 4.5l) in 2m 1f novices' hurdle at Cheltenham in December; shaped better than bare result suggests when fifth (btn 33l) by Yanworth in G2 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (2m 4f 56y) at Cheltenham on Jan 30

BLOODY MARY 5 gr m Fragrant Mix (IRE) - Sacade (FR) (Robin Des Champs (FR )) Owner: J P McManus

Won five bumpers on the trot and a hurdle race in France when trained by Alain Couetil; made a winning start for new connections in a 2m novices' hurdle at Taunton on Feb 2, beating Banyu by 2.25l, won on seven of eight outings & unbeaten over hurdles

BRAIN POWER 5 b g Kalanisi (IRE) - Blonde Ambition (IRE) (Old Vic) Owner: Michael Buckley
Supreme 134

Newcastle bumper winner in Feb, 2015 for James Jenkins; tenth in Champion Bumper (btn 26l) at Aintree on first start for current connections; decisive winner on hurdling debut at Kempton Park in November but no match for Charbel when runner-up (btn 11l) in Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Novices' Hurdle at Musselburgh on Feb 7

BUVEUR D'AIR 5 b g Crillon (FR) - History (FR) (Alesso (USA)) Owner: Potensis Bloodstock Ltd & Chris Giles
Supreme Neptune 154

Won two bumpers in France before good efforts behind Barters Hill at Newbury (2nd) and Aintree (4th) last season; made eye-catching hurdling debut when brushing aside Champion Bumper third Wait For Me by 11l in a 2m novices' hurdle at Newbury on Nov 27; not extended to win a minor contest by 7l at Huntingdon (2m) on Jan 29; half-brother to Ryanair World Hurdle runner-up Punchestowns

CHOCCA WOCCA 6 b m Kayf Tara - Chomba Womba (IRE) (Fourstars Allstar (USA)) Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes

Bred by owners whose Trull House Stud sponsors the new mare's novices' hurdle at The Festival this year; first foal of high-class hurdler Chomba Womba who won three G2 prizes for the owners and trainer; easy 4l winner on debut in a 14f bumper at Ludlow in December, 2014; runner-up to Hollies Pearl in Listed mares' bumper (2m 1f) at Aintree's Grand National Festival in April. First run over hurdles on February 21 in a Market Rasen mares' novice event resulted in a hard-fought neck victory.

CONSUL DE THAIX 4 b g Loxias (FR) - Mange De Thaix (FR) (Mont Basile (FR)) Owner: J P McManus
Supreme/ Triumph

Half-brother to stable's high-class hurdler/chaser Volnay De Thaix; made encouraging debut for Francois Nicolle when narrowly denied in a 2m 2f hurdle at Auteuil in September; third to stablemate Protek Des Flos (btn 3l) on first run for current connections in G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Jan 30

FIXE LE KAP 4 gr g Kapgarde (FR) - Lady Fix (FR) (Turgeon (USA)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Triumph 145

French import who shaped nicely in three starts over hurdles at Auteuil last spring; rallied to beat subsequent Listed scorer Tommy Silver by a length in a 2m juvenile hurdle at Newbury in December; stepped up on that when trouncing his rivals by 28l in a similar contest at Warwick on Jan 28: second in valuable Haydock Park juvenile hurdle on February 20 as long odds of favourite, rallying when beaten three quarters of a length by Frodon

HURRICANE HIGGINS 8 br g Hurricane Run (IRE) - Mare Aux Fees (Kenmare (FR)) Owner: Alan Spence
Bartlett

Talented stayer on the Flat for Mark Johnston in 2012, winning Goodwood Handicap and finishing third in G2 Doncaster Cup; off track for over two years before returning in 2015 to win a 2m conditions race at Lingfield Park in February on first start for Nicky Henderson; has won only race over obstacles, 2m 1f novices' hurdle at Aintree in May; not run since Royal Ascot in June, 2015

KHEZERABAD 4 ch g Dalakhani (IRE) - Khelwa (FR) (Traditionally (USA)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Triumph

Bred by HH Aga Khan and won first two starts on the Flat when trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre in France, including an 8l victory over 10f at Maisons-Laffitte; subsequently beaten Listed contests at Vichy and Deauville in high summer on only other starts; yet to run for present connections

MINELLA AWARDS 5 b g Oscar (IRE) - Montys Miss (IRE) (Presenting) Owner: Potensis Bloodstock Ltd & Chris Giles
Neptune/ Bartlett

Irish point-to-point graduate; got within a 0.75l of Champers On Ice on hurdling debut (extended 2m 4f) at Newbury in November; only fifth (btn 19l) behind Ma Du Fou when favourite for Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon on Feb 11

O O SEVEN 6 b g Flemensfirth (USA) - Kestral Heights (IRE) (Eagle Eyed (USA)) Owner: Triermore Stud
Neptune/ Bartlett 150 Made impressive bumper debut at Huntingdon in December, 2014 and lined up in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at The Festival 2015, finishing 16th; won first two starts over hurdles this term at Huntingdon and Sandown Park before chasing home Yorkhill (btn 2.25l) in G1 Tolworth Hurdle back at Sandown Park on Jan 2, all over 2m; proved stamina for 3m when narrowly beating Fagan in the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial, Musselburgh on Feb 7
PREMIER BOND 6 b g Kayf Tara - Celtic Native (IRE) (Be My Native (USA)) Owner: Middleham Park Racing XI
Neptune 137

Off the mark at third time of asking in a bumper at Ffos Las in April; runner-up to stablemate O O Seven in 2m novices' hurdle at Sandown Park on Dec 5; got the better of subsequent winner William H Bonney by 4.5l in similar event at Newbury on Dec 29; tried 19.5 furlongs at Ascot on February 20 but could only finish 4th of 5 (btn 7.25l)

PROTEK DES FLOS 4 b g Protektor (GER) - Flore De Chantenay (FR) (Smadoun (FR)) Owner: Potensis Bloodstock Limited
Triumph

Had two starts in France for trainer Serge Foucher, finishing fifth on the Flat in a 2m race at Saumur and second (btn 8l) in a Listed hurdle at Auteuil in September; 25/1 outsider of six on British debut when staying on well to win the G2 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial by just over a length at Cheltenham on Jan 30; justified favouritism decisively in a minor event at Sandown Park on Feb 19, winning by four and a half lengths

ROBINS REEF 6 br m Robin Des Champs (FR) - Tropical Ocean (IRE) (Anshan) Owner: Kelvin-Hughes & Bartlett
125

Purchased for €160,000 at Tattersalls Ireland in June, 2013; won two of her four starts in bumpers last season; scored comfortably by 4l on hurdling debut at Ludlow (2m) on Nov 12 before, staying on second (btn 4l) when odds-on for a mares' novices' hurdle (2m 3.5f) at Doncaster 16 days later

THEATRE TERRITORY 6 b m King's Theatre (IRE) - Specifiedrisk (IRE) (Turtle Island (IRE)) Owner: Robert Waley-Cohen

Half-sister to G1 scorer Glencove Marina who cost connections £200,000 after winning an Irish point-to-point in May; third (btn 7.25l) to Copper Kay on Rules debut in a Listed mares' bumper at Cheltenham on Nov 14 under owner's son Sam; second in a similar race at Ascot on February 20 when favourite

NOVICE CHASERS
L'AMI SERGE 6 b g King's Theatre - La Zingarella (IRE) (Phardante (FR) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Arkle/ JLT 148

Among the best novice hurdlers last season, winning three from four including a facile 14l victory in the G1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown Park in January; no match for Douvan when fourth (btn 10l) in G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at The Festival; won first two chases easily this campaign at Plumpton (2m 1f) and Wetherby (just over 2m 3f) before being turned over at 1/5F in the G2 Kingmaker Novices' Chase (2m) at Warwick on Feb 13; jumps left

VANITEUX 7 br g Voix Du Nord (FR) - Expoville (FR) (Video Rock (FR)) Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Arkle/ JLT 152

High-class hurdler, finishing third to Vautour in 2014 G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle and second to The New One in last season's G2 StanJames.com International Hurdle; two from three in 2m novices' chases this season, most recently beating Arzal by 3.25l in the G2 Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster on Jan 30; sole defeat this term came when going down by a neck to Ar Mad in G2 contest at Kempton Park on Dec 2 after winning at same course in November

VOLNAY DE THAIX 7 ch g Secret Singer (FR) - Mange De Thaix (FR) (Mont Basile (FR)) Owner: Judy Wilson
JLT

Won five of his 12 starts over hurdles - three novices and two handicaps; fifth (btn 6l) to Aux Ptits Soins under top-weight in Coral Cup at The Festival and third (btn 14.5l) in G1 Aintree Hurdle last spring, though last in Stan James Champion Hurdle; good attitude when getting off the mark at first time of asking over fences in 2m 3f novices' chase at Doncaster on Dec 11, beating Pine Creek by 2l; not run since finishing well-beaten fourth behind Seeyouatmidnight in the G2 Dipper Novices' Chase (2m 5f) at Cheltenham on Jan 1

VYTA DU ROC 7 gr g Lion Noir - Dolce Vyta (FR) (Grand Tresor (FR)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
NH Chase/ RSA 145

G2-winning hurdler over 2m and 2m 4f last season; also runner-up to Thistlecrack (btn 13l) in G1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle over 3m at Aintree in April; stayed on strongly to repel The Saint James by half a length on chasing debut at Bangor (just short of 2m 2f) in December; runner-up (btn 1.5l) to Bouvreuil in a 2m 3f novices' chase at Doncaster on Jan 8; stepped up successfully to three miles at Ascot on February 20, winning by a half-length from Minella Rocco

HURDLERS
BOBS WORTH 11b g Bob Back (USA) - Fashionista (IRE) (King's Theatre (IRE)) Owner: The Not Afraid Partnership
World 150 (ch) 150 (h)

Three-time G1 winner at The Festival between 2011-2013, winning the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, RSA Chase and Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup; has not won over fences since running down First Lieutenant in the G1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in Dec 2013; a return to hurdles saw him beat stablemate Simonsig in a 2m 4f hurdle at Aintree in November; well-beaten on two subsequent starts

CALL THE COPS 7 b g Presenting - Ballygill Heights (IRE) (Symboli Heights (FR)) Owner: J P McManus
153

In great form last spring, capturing the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival and finishing second (btn hd) to Taglietelle in a valuable G3 handicap at Aintree's Grand National Festival; only start this season came when eight to stablemate Cup Final in a Pertemps Qualifier at Musselburgh on Feb 7

CUP FINAL 7 ch g Presenting - Asian Maze (IRE) (Anshan) Owner: J P McManus
139

Lightly-races 7yo who returned from over a year off to win a Pertemps Qualifier (3m 2f) comfortably at Mussleburgh on February 7; other triumph over hurdles came in a 2m 6f handicap at Sandown Park in Dec, 2014; 10th to Faugheen in Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at The Festival in 2014; second foal of top-class mare Asian Maze

DIFFERENT GRAVEY 6 b g High Chaparral (IRE) - Newtown Dancer (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE)) Owner: Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
JLT 149 (h)

£140,000 Irish point-to-point winner; won three of four starts over hurdles last season, headlined by a 3l victory over A Vos Gardes in the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle (extended 2m 3f) at Huntingdon in February, 2015; won easily at Ayr on final start of last season; first run for 10 months when won impressively by 16l under top-weight in Ascot 2m 3f handicap hurdle on February 20

HARGAM 5 gr g Sinndar (IRE) - Horasana (FR) (Galileo (IRE)) Owner: J P McManus
Champion 157

Won two of five starts over hurdles last season, including Listed contest at Musselburgh in February; subsequently finished third (btn 4.5l) to stable mate Peace And Co in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival (stable has first three); three runs this season, including third-placed finishes in both the G2 StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Dec 12 to Old Guard and the G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park to Faugheen a fortnight later; worked with fellow Stan James Champion Hurdle hope My Tent Or Yours at Kempton Park on February 12

KILCREA VALE 6 b g Beneficial - Inflation (FR) (Port Etienne (FR)) Owner: Alan Spence
145

Irish point-to-point winner in May, 2014; created big impression when winning by 26l on hurdling debut at Market Rasen (extended 2m 2f) in January, 2015, but did not run again last season; fell when looking in control of a conditions hurdle (2m) at Ascot in November; sixth (btn 13.5l) behind Rock The Kasbah in a G3 handicap hurdle (extended 2m 3f) at the same venue on January 23

MY TENT OR YOURS 9 b g (Desert Prince (IRE) - Spartan Girl (IRE) (Ela-Mana-Mou) Owner: J P McManus
Champion 161

Runner-up in both the 2013 G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle and 2014 G1 Stan James Champion Hurdle, beaten a neck by Jezki, at The Festival; six victories over hurdles include a Betfair Hurdle, StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle and a Christmas Hurdle; been out of action since finishing third in the G2 Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April, 2014; had a racecourse gallop at Kempton Park on February 12

PEACE AND CO 5 b g Falco (USA) - Peace Lina (FR) (Linamix (FR)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Champion 157

The leading juvenile hurdler last season; won three from three, culminating with a victory over stable mates Top Notch and Hargam in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival by a neck and four lengths; far too free when last of six (btn 21) on comeback in the G2 International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December; beaten at odds-on again when third in the Listed Contenders Hurdle at Sandown Park on February 6; has subsequently had a minor wind operation

POLLY PEACHUM 8 b m Shantou (USA) - Miss Denman (IRE) (Presenting) Owner: Lady Tennant & Robert Waley-Cohen
OLBG 149

Has won seven of her 15 starts over hurdles and was beaten a head by Glens Melody in 2015 G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle at The Festival; she ended last season with victory in open company at Sandown Park in April; beaten on her comeback in a 3m Listed race at Kempton Park in December but returned to winning ways, running on gamely, in a Listed mares' hurdle (2m 4f) at Sandown Park on Jan 2

SIGN OF A VICTORY 7 b g Kayf Tara - Irish Wedding (IRE) (Bob Back (USA)) Owner: Matt & Lauren Morgan
Champion 153

Recorded a facile victory in a Listed handicap hurdle at Ascot in November, 2014; went down by a neck to Cheltenian in the G2 Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April; shaped with promise on comeback at Ascot in October before easily winning a 12f Flat maiden on Tapeta at Wolverhampton on Dec 5; has not run since finishing last of five (btn 37l) in G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day

TOP NOTCH 5 b g Poliglote - Topira (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Champion 158

French import who went into The Festival last year unbeaten in five starts over hurdles; found only stablemate Peace And Co a neck too strong in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle; started this campaign with two runs in the space of a week, finishing second to Irving at Haydock Park and Identity Thief in the G1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle; disappointed when upped to 2m 4f at Cheltenham on New Year's Day but bounced back to win Morebattle Hurdle (2m 2f) by 12l at Kelso on Feb 18

WHISPER 8 b g Astarabad (USA) - Belle Yepa (FR) (Mansonnien (FR)) Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd
World 164

Won Coral Cup at The Festival in 2014 and finished fifth (btn 10.5l) behind Cole Harden in G1 Ryanair World Hurdle last year; reversed form with Cole Harden to win the G1 Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree's Grand National Festival for the second year in succession; two runs this season, coming home last of five (btn 31l) behind Thistlecrack in G2 Long Distance Hurdle (3m) at Newbury in November before pulling up at Cheltenham on Jan 1

CHASERS
CAPTAIN CONAN 9 b g Kingsalsa (USA) - Lavandou (Sadler's Wells (USA)) Owner: Triermore Stud
Ryanair Chase 147

Successful three times in Grade One company back in 2012/13 season; has been lightly-raced since and missed all of last season. Has made two appearances this season, finishing fourth to The New One in G2 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock Park in January and third to Top Gamble in G2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Feb 13, well beaten both times

COCKTAILS AT DAWN 8 b g Fair Mix (IRE) - Fond Farewell (IRE) (Phardante (FR)) Owner: Robin Geffen & Sir John Ritblat
153

Three-time winner who enjoyed biggest success in novices' handicap chase at Sandown Park in April, 2015; made a winning return to action at Chepstow in October but not seen out since coming 14th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in Nov

JOSSES HILL 8 b g Winged Love (IRE) - Credora Storm (IRE) (Glacial Storm (USA)) Owner: Alan Spence
Ryanair Chase 158

Success in Grade Two company over hurdles at Aintree in 2014 and two-time winner over fences; was second to Vautour in 2014 G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at The Festival and third to Un De Sceaux in 2015 G1 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Chase; comfortable winner of a graduation chase at Kempton Park in Feb

MA FILLEULE 8 gr m Turgeon (USA) - Kadaina (FR) (Kadalko (FR)) Owner: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Ryanair Chase 150

High-class mare who has won eight races; narrowly defeated at The Festival in 2014 when runner-up in the Ultima Handicap Chase behind Holywell; went on to win the Topham Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree the same year; winless in five starts last season but twice runner-up at Grade One level in the Ryanair Chase at The Festival and in Betfair Ascot Chase; back to winning ways in Listed mares' chase at Doncaster in December; pulled up in G1 Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on February 20 after being prominent for a long way

SPRINTER SACRE 10 b/br g Network (GER) - Fatima III (FR) (Bayolidaan (FR)) Owner: Caroline Mould
Queen Mother 170

Successful on 12 of his 16 starts over fences, including seven Grade Ones, and already a dual winner at The Festival, with seven-length win in 2012 G1 Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase and imperious 12-length victory in 2013 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase; was on the sidelines for majority of 2013/14 campaign with an irregular heartbeat and then winless in three starts last season; has returned to form this season with victories in G2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham and G2 Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park in December, when he got the better of 2014 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase victor Sire De Grugy.

TRIOLO D'ALENE 9 ch g Epalo (GER) - Joliette D´Alene (FR) (Garde Royale)) Owner: Sandy & Caroline Orr
Ryanair Chase 155

Enjoyed finest hour when successful in 2013 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury; victorious over the Grand National fences in 2013 Topham Chase at Aintree; restricted to two runs last season but returned to action this campaign with 49-length victory in Listed three-runner handicap chase at Kempton Park on Jan 9; disappointed when well-beaten fifth in G1 Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on February 20

Nicky Henderson's entries with previous form at The Festival

Year Race Pos Jockey SP
Bobs Worth
2011 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle 1st Barry Geraghty 15/8F
2012 RSA Chase 1st Barry Geraghty 9/2
2013 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 1st Barry Geraghty 11/4F
2014 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 5th Barry Geraghty 6/4F
2015 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup PU Barry Geraghty 16/1
Call The Cops
2015 Pertemps Network Final 1st Andrew Tinkler 9/1
Captain Conan
2013 JLT Novices' Chase 5th Barry Geraghty 5/1
2014 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase PU Barry Geraghty 7/2
Cocktails At Dawn
2014 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 11th Barry Geraghty 33/1
2015 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase  9th Barry Geraghty 14/1
Cup Final
2014 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 10th A P McCoy 16/1
Hargam
2015 JCB Triumph Hurdle 3rd A P McCoy 8/1
Josses Hill
2014 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2nd A Tinkler 14/1
2015 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 3rd B J Geraghty 12/1
Ma Filleule
2013 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle 13th Jeremiah McGrath (3) 9/1
2014 Ultima Handicap Chase 2nd Nico de Boinville (5) 33/1
2015 Ryanair Chase  2nd Barry Geraghty 5/1
My Tent Or Yours
2013 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2nd A P McCoy 15/8F
2014 Stan James Champion Hurdle 2nd A P McCoy 3/1
L'Ami Serge
2015 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 4th Barry Geraghty 7/2
O O Seven
2015 Weatherbys Champion Bumper 16th Barry Geraghty 40/1
Peace And Co
2015 JCB Triumph Hurdle 1st Barry Geraghty 2/1F
Polly Peachum
2015 OLBG Mares' Hurdle 2nd Barry Geraghty 9/1
Sprinter Sacre
2011 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 3rd A P McCoy 11/1
2012 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 1st Barry Geraghty 8/11F
2013 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase 1st Barry Geraghty 1/4F
2015 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase PU Barry Geraghty 9/4F
Top Notch
2015 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2nd Daryl Jacob 7/1
Triolo D'Alene
2012 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase 11th Barry Geraghty 7/1
2014 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup 10th A P McCoy 10/1
Whisper
2014 Coral Cup 1st Nico de Boinville (5) 14/1
2015 Ryanair World Hurdle 5th B J Geraghty 8/1
Vaniteux
2014 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 3rd Barry Geraghty 11/1
2015 Stan James Champion Hurdle 8th Barry Geraghty 25/1
Volnay De Thaix
2015 Coral Cup 5th Peter Carberry (3) 18/1
Vyta Du Roc
2015 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 4th Barry Geraghty 15/2