Henderson Waves White Flag In Trainers Championship

Henderson Waves White Flag In Trainers Championship

Nicky Henderson has all but conceded the 2019 Jumps Trainers' Championship to old advisory Paul Nicholls, but admits there is plenty to play for with the Aintree Festival looming large.

The man from Seven Burrows is currently £400,000 behind Nicholls in the title race, and singled out his chances of winning the £1 million Randox Health Grand National in two weeks time hinges on two entries that may not even make the final cut.

This leaves the possibility of a sixth career crown looking rather slim, resulting in Paul Nicholls reclaiming the title for the first time since 2016, and an eleventh in total.

(Credit: Racing Post) Henderson said: "We've given up on that on the grounds I'm very, very unlikely to win the Grand National – I might not even have a runner in it, although we might have one.

"I think we'll concede and just look forward to Aintree with no pressure. We'll have a lot of nice young horses to get on with and run, and there'll be plenty going to Aintree."

His strong team includes dual Champion Chaser Altior - who made it win number four at the Cheltenham Festival last week, but was forced to knuckle down and work hard on the run-in.

With all ground accomplished in the two-mile division, he looks poised to step up to 2m4f for the first time in his career in the Melling Chase on what will also be a first career start at the Merseyside-based track.

A new test of stamina looms down the line with a possible tilt towards the King George at the end of the year when the new season dawns - if everything goes according to plan.

The nine-year-old will also bid to now break the record of 18 consecutive jumps wins himself held currently by Big Buck's as well, having emulated the latter's efforts at Prestbury Park last week.

Henderson said: "He's come out of Cheltenham well and I'm the first to admit it looked like another half a mile would be right up his street.

"Two and a half miles around Aintree isn't an enormous test of stamina and if he didn't stay there, he's certainly not going to win the King George.

"It's a stepping stone and I discussed it with Patricia last night. We'll discuss it further and I want Nico [de Boinville] to have a sit on him next week to see if he's happy and take it from there."

Meanwhile, Buveur D'Air was a shade unfortunate to not win a third straight Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after parting company with Barry Geraghty early on.

He could make the trip north too for the Aintree Hurdle – a contest he won two years ago over the further trip.

Henderson added: "He's very good, but we haven't done anything with them yet. We'll have to see next week.

"He might learn to pick his feet up a tiny bit higher. You know what his jumping's like; it's very slick and deadly accurate, but the deadly accurate bit went out of the window and he missed it by an inch."

Henderson also has Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills to look forward to, along with Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and RSA Novices' Chase runners-up Champ and Santini, who are all being recalled for starts at the prestigious National meeting.

Free Bets & Offers


🚀 £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £5 BET 🚀
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 2 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets exclude virtuals. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further t&cs apply. 18+. Begambleaware.org
Claim Bonus
🔥 ✅ BET £10 & GET £60 IN FREE BETS! ✅ 🔥
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔴 BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS! ⚫️
New customers only. Place a £10 fixed odds bet min odds 1/2, 2 x £10 free bets & 2x free spread bets. Free bets awarded on consecutive days. Full t&c’s apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £20 AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 ON TODAYS RACING & GET £30 FREE BETS + £10 CASINO BONUS! 🔸
Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
🏇🏼 BET £10 ON ANY RACE TODAY & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! 🏇🏼
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Single Sportsbook bets on any Football market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs) between the 18th and 31st January, and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus

🏆 Money Back as CASH up to £20 if your first bet loses! 🏆
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 ON ANY SPORT & GET £20 IN FREE BETS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £20 free bets valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. begambleaware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🤩 BET £10 AT MANSION BET AND GET A £10 FREE BET 🤩
New customers only. Min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK debit card only. Min odds evens (1/5 per leg in multi selection). £10 Free Bet vaild for 7 days, stake not returned, no Cash Out, max winnings £5k. T&C’s apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus