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Binocular - Kempton - 26.12.2011

Binocular (left) has had a very minor tweak of his soft palate

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Breathing operations for classy Henderson pair

NICKY HENDERSON has revealed that both Binocular and Bobs Worth have had breathing operations since their runs at Kempton on December 26.

Despite winning the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, both Henderson and Tony McCoy expressed disappointment with Binocular's running after the race, with McCoy insisting he was notthe same horse who won the Champion Hurdle in 2010.

With a physical problem the most likely explanation, Henderson decided the best course of action was to alter the horse's breathing.

"AP commented on his breathing after pulling up at Kempton," said the trainer.

"We had a look and he's had a very minor tweak of the soft palate. It doesn't interrupt anything as it's not invasive and the horse is already back in work and cantering."  

Binocular is a best-priced 10-1 to regain his Champion Hurdle crown in March.

He missed the 2011 race in dramatic circumstances after being treated for an allergy two weeks earlier. Subsequent testing discovered the substance used to treat the condition had remained in the horse's system and would lead to a positive test on raceday, when horses must be drug-free.

Henderson also revealed that Bobs Worth, who also disappointed the trainer at Kempton when trailing home in third behind Grands Crus, received the same treatment. Bobs Worth is a general 5-1 second favourite for the RSA Chase.

Master Minded "is now out of his plaster, progressing well and is at the next stage of his recovery", his trainer said Paul Nicholls on Friday.

While on Clive Smith's other superstar chaser Kauto Star, he added: "I have never seen the horse look better. Never."

With Kauto Star bidding to confound racing fans yet again as he bids for a third Gold Cup, Nicholls said: "He has come out of the race unbelievably well, has put on weight after Kempton, and Clifford can't believe how fresh he is.

"In truth, we would have liked to have done a little less with him, but he is so well in himself that we had to get him back cantering much earlier than we expected.

"He is in a real good place at the moment and if I can get him to Cheltenham on March 16 in the same kind of form he is in at the moment, then I will be a very happy man."

It was not all good newsfrom Nicholls however, who said 2010 Badger Ales Chase winner Meanus Dandy had to be put down this week after failing to overcome a serious injury to his near fore tendon when pulled up at Sandown last month.

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