Nicky Henderson rules Santini out of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury

Mon 21 Oct 2019

Nicky Henderson has ruled the Ladbrokes Trophy out for Santini, with a run at Sandown on the cards instead.

Narrowly beaten in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March, as a lightly-raced second-season chaser – the type of which do so well in the Newbury race – the seven-year-old had been installed as ante-post favourite for the big early-season handicap.

But Henderson believes the hurly-burly nature of what was the Hennessy Gold Cup would not be suitable, and is instead eyeing a potentially easier comeback option at Sandown – a route he used for Might Bite a couple of years ago.

 Topofthegame, right, beats Santini, in the  RSA (Focusonracing)
Topofthegame, right, beats Santini, in the RSA (Focusonracing)

“It (Virgin Bet Future Stars Intermediate Chase) seems an obvious starting point for him, because he has not got a lot of experience,” said Henderson.

“I didn’t think about the Ladbrokes Trophy for him, because he has only had three runs over fences, and I think he would be short of experience for that.

“He has been good since coming back in and did his first piece of work on Saturday, like a lot of them did. He needed it, and will come forward from it.”

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