Nicky Henderson: feels he will learn a lot about Volnay De Thaix todayPICTURE: Getty
Promising Volnay put
to test in higher grade
NICKY HENDERSON is on a fact-finding mission with exciting Volnay De Thaix, who takes a step up in class in the Grade 2 Mitie Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle (2.00) after winning novice events at Kempton and Newbury in impressive style.
Volnay De Thaix could not have landed those races with more authority, but Henderson fully acknowledges this Grade 2 will provide a significantly sterner test for Judy Wilson's four-year-old.
"He's had two very straightforward races so far," Henderson said. "He is growing up and learning and now we have got to go up a notch with him. He's been very impressive but hasn't beaten anything yet. We'll learn more about him at Ascot."
Barry Geraghty, aboard Volnay De Thaix for both his victories, is again in the saddle as he chases a third successive win in the race following those of Puffin Billy (2012) and Molotof (2011).
Irving, another boasting a perfect record from two starts in Britain, represents Paul Nicholls.
"He's won ordinary novice hurdles at Ascot and Taunton and now it's time to step him up in class," the trainer said. "He's done nothing wrong and should run well."
The field is completed by Splash Of Ginge, Long Lunch, Prince Siegfried and Massini's Trap.
Trainer Tom George has scored with four of his last eight runners in handicap hurdles at Uttoxeter. He saddles Halley today (1.50).
Pointer provided by Raceform Interactive
Uttoxeter: Heavy, soft in places