Henderson waits to go through the gears
NICKY HENDERSON has described Rathhill as a horse with “gears” as he looks to add to his impressive record in the Tolworth Hurdle.
The Seven Barrows handler has won the Sandown Grade One five times.
Rathhill made his racecourse debut just over a fortnight ago – having finished second in an Irish point-to-point – and he was a stylish winner at Newbury.
Henderson had a handful of exciting prospects to choose from at the confirmation stage, so it may speak volumes that he relies solely on JP McManus’ six-year-old.
“He is a very burly horse, has plenty of gears – and two miles will do him for now,” said Henderson. “We decided to run him a week earlier at Newbury, because we wanted to give Rathhill extra time before the Tolworth.”
Colin Tizzard’s Elixir De Nutz has far more experience and will be having his sixth run over hurdles.
He failed to cut much ice in two starts for Philip Hobbs last season, but the switch to Tizzard has seen him progress – finishing second on his debut for the Dorset handler at Cheltenham in October, before registering successive wins at Prestbury Park.
Tizzard said: “Two miles is his trip, and you can go as fast as you want with him over that trip. We’ve made the running over two miles so far, and it is working quite well at the moment.
“This is a step up on what he has done, but he has done nothing wrong.”