Henderson dreams of more success to start another campaign
CHAMPION jump trainer Nicky Henderson is targeting the Showcase at Cheltenham this weekend for his classy four-year-old We Have A Dream, who is unbeaten in five starts in the UK since coming from France last year.
The son of Martaline’s highlights last season included success in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in January and an impressive victory in the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree’s Randox Health Grand National Festival in April.
We Have A Dream, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, could make his seasonal debut at The Showcase as Henderson is considering the £40,000 Masterson Holdings Hurdle, run over two miles on Saturday and the horse would probably have to take on old adversary Gumball (Philip Hobbs), whom he defeated by seven lengths at Aintree in April. The horse was set to run in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in March but had to miss the race because of a temperature.
Henderson said: “We Have A Dream summered well and is in good form at home. He is unbeaten and, whilst he has not grown a lot, I am happy with him.
“I like him and he enjoyed a good season last term. The only issue we had with him last year was when he got a temperature on the Monday before Cheltenham, so we couldn’t run him in the Triumph which was a shame.
“He won very well at Aintree after that and the manner in which he scored there, you would have to think he could have gone very close in the Triumph.
“I would say that the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham for four-year-olds is a possibility. He would have to carry an 8lb penalty, but he has won two Group Ones.
“The Unibet International Hurdle (run at The International at Cheltenham on December 15) is possibly a race to consider afterwards.”
The Masterson Holdings Hurdle has established itself as an attractive earlyseason target for four-year-old hurdlers and the roll of honour includes Tiger Roll, who took the spoils for owner Gigginstown House Stud and trainer Gordon Elliott in 2014.
Tiger Roll had landed the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle earlier in 2014 and has since won another two races at The Festival - the 2017 National Hunt Chase and the 2018 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase and went on to gain the biggest prize in Jump racing, the £1-million Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April.
Other high-class winners include Dodging Bullets (2012), subsequently successful in the 2015 G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival and Sceau Royal (2016).
The biggest prize money boosts at The Showcase apply to the two Randox Health-sponsored handicap chases.
The two contests both have a total prize fund of £60,000 (up from £50,000).