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Binocular can give Henderson strong Cheltenham start

| 08.03.2011

Nicky Henderson could potentially have an outstanding Cheltenham Festival and he is keen to ensure that his nerves are eased quickly with a win on the first of the four days.

Four winners will mean that Henderson becomes the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history, while he will also have one eye on being named the top trainer over the four days.

With a host of highly regarded contenders, Henderson may be a good price at 6/4 in the Cheltenham betting to be the top Festival trainer, but he knows the importance of getting off to a good start.

Henderson said: “The most important thing is to try and find a winner on the first day as that seriously takes the pressure off and then you can gradually sail through the week.”

The trainer will be optimistic of ending the first day with at least one winner to his name, with potentially his best chance being that of Binocular in the Champion Hurdle.

Binocular is the 11/4 favourite in the Champion Hurdle betting to win the race for the second year in succession, but the likes of Menorah and Peddlers Cross are expected to prove stiff opposition.

Elsewhere, Henderson has two lively contenders in the Cheltenham curtain raiser, with Spirit Son and Sprinter Sacre prominent towards the head of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting.

Spirit Son is unbeaten in three career starts and is priced at 6/1, while Sprinter Sacre is one of three horses at 8/1 following his record of four victories in five runs.

Finian’s Rainbow is 7/2 to win the Arkle Chase, Carole’s Legacy is a lively each-way contender in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at 14/1 and Aigle D’Or is fancied at 10/1 in the Cheltenham betting to land the Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase.

A £25 stake on the treble of Spirit Son, Finian’s Rainbow and Binocular all winning on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival for Henderson would return £2953. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.