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Binocular winning Champion Hurdle, March 2010

Binocular (left) and Khyber Kim (right) were first and second in 2010

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) 

Henderson confirms Champion Hurdle team

NICKY HENDERSON horses dominate the Champion Hurdle market, with four of the nine priced 20-1 or shorter based at Seven Barrows, and at his open day on Monday he finalised his team, relying primarily on Grandouet and Binocular.

As expected Oscar Whisky will contest the Ladbrokes World Hurdle while Betfair Hurdle winner My Tent Or Yours will go for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle. Khyber Kim, a 66-1 shot, will take his chance in the race alongside his better fancied stablemates.

Grandouet is an 8-1 shot, while Binocular, who won the race in 2010 when chased home by Khyber Kim, is 14-1.

"Binocular has unfairly become rather a forgotten contender, but he has pleased us since Leopardstown; he has really kicked in now," said Henderson.

"We thought long and hard about running Grandouet in the Kingwell last weekend, and I know Corky [Browne, head lad] was keen for him to go there, but in the end we decided against it on the testing ground. He’ll work at Kempton on Saturday."

Nicky Henderson at Ascot 19.02.2011

Nicky Henderson: trio of runners

  PICTURE: Getty  

My Tent Or Yours, who was the shortest priced of Henderson's entries and second favourite in several lists, will not contest the race however with the connections instead preferring to target the opening race on Champion Hurdle day.

"Having discussed options with everyone, including JP [McManus], AP [McCoy] and Frank Berry we’ve definitely agreed on the Supreme. I think after the Betfair it was only the media and bookmakers who mentioned the Champion.

"He didn’t have a hard race at Newbury and is ticking over nicely. I know AP thinks the world of him. It must be remembered he won a handicap and I think it’s necessary to prove yourself in Grade 1 company before going for the Champion."

For all the latest news on Henderson's Cheltenham team make sure you buy your copy of Tuesday's Racing Post, download the digital edition from 3am or read it on your iPad from 8pm on Monday

 
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