Brain Power to have tests for potential breathing problem after Ascot fall

Sat 20 Jan 2018

By Andy Stephens

Nicky Henderson revealed Brain Power was suffering from a breathing issue before he fell two out in the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

The novice was disputing second place, with Speredek, when he came to grief two out in the feature won for a record third time by Un De Sceaux.

The seven-year-old walked away unscathed but faces further tests on Monday for a potential problem with his wind.

2017 Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day - Cheltenham Racecourse

"He is fine and everybody has checked him out," Henderson said. "We are going back to the same old story - I've never heard a murmur out of the horse. Nico said jumping the first fence up the hill, he started gurgling. He has never made a noise before.

"We will have to look at it on Monday morning as there is no point scoping the horse now. His heart is normal, he was short of oxygen.

"When he started making the noise, he was not actually exhausted at the time. He was running nicely on the bridle. The noise kicked in and from there on he got less and less oxygen.

"Nico said the noise sounded like a soft palate. It is amazing how quickly you can turn them (around) training from that, as you can get them back in work in three weeks.

"It is disappointing as I thought he jumped great and travelled great. I am not saying we will have to take him out of the Arkle, but we might."

Henderson issued an upbeat bulletin on Altior as he stepped up his preparations for a return to action.

Last year's star two-mile novice has yet to run this season after undergoing a breathing operation in November, but the eight-year-old remains the ante-post favourite for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

2017 Cheltenham Festival - Champion Day - Cheltenham Racecourse Everything with Altior was "first class" when he worked on Saturday. (PA)

The Seven Barrows handler has upped Altior's work regime in recent days and reports all to be going well.

Henderson said: "He did more, but he didn't gallop. He went a mile and a bit up the grass and everything was first class. Everything was 100 per cent this morning with him."

Henderson also had news of leading Supreme Novices' Hurdle hope Claimantakinforgan, who bypassed a possible option at Haydock on Saturday with a trip to Musselburgh for next month's bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials Weekend an alternative engagement.

He said: "I wouldn't be ruling out Musselburgh or something like that by taking a juvenile up there with him.

"He wants to run before Cheltenham on better ground. I wouldn't ask him to go in that Haydock ground.

"We were in the Tolworth and we saw what that did to two or three horses. Their game isn't over, but you wouldn't want to be coming in off the back of that.

"A couple of bubbles got horribly burst because of the ground at Sandown. We didn't go to Sandown because of the ground, and there didn't seem a lot of point going to Haydock with him."

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