Brain Power backed to make his presence felt in Arkle Trophy bid

Tue 20 Feb 2018

Nicky Henderson has every faith Brain Power can put a frustrating first campaign over fences behind him with a bold show in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The seven year-old is as short as 10-1 to make his first start since undergoing a breathing operation a winning one in the two-mile Grade One contest on March 13.

Since making a victorious debut over fences at Kempton in November, the Michael Buckley-owned gelding has subsequently come unstuck in both the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown and last time out in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Henderson said: "He worked this morning and I was very pleased. He has had his wind op - he will have these great initials (in the racecard) after his name when he appears.

"He is a little bit forgotten, but nothing has gone right. He won very nicely the first time. We did not want to make the running at Sandown the next time and that was a bit of a disaster.

"We then went to Ascot, not to say we were going to beat Un De Sceaux, but what I wanted was a real good gallop. Everything was going great until he turned out of Swinley Bottom to come up the hill and he just choked and that was his palate.

"He is a very talented horse. It is a hot Arkle and they are going to go a good gallop. It's open and I think Footpad has looked very good and Saint Calvados has looked very good.

"Brain Power was the best of them over hurdles by a quite long way and is a very good jumper of fences."

The Seven Barrows handler warned recent Grade One winner Terrefort is unlikely to take his chance in either the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase or the JLT Novices' Chase unless the ground is soft.

He said: "We are thinking he is only five and he looks pretty smart, but we are inclined to leave him out this year unless it came up very soft, as he loves soft ground."

Henderson said plans for a tilt at the Ryanair Chase remain unaltered for Top Notch despite his below-par effort on his return to the top table in the Ascot Chase on Saturday.

He added: "He ran a bit flat for me at Ascot, but he seems fine and we scoped him on Monday. He will run in the Ryanair."

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