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Simonsig - Cheltenham 14/03/2012

Simonsig: short-priced favourite to score at Kempton on Thursday

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Simonsig out to maintain Henderson hot streak

NICKY HENDERSON was in irresistable form at Kempton on Wednesday and he sends out the exciting Racing Post Arkle favourite Simonsig in the Grade 2 Novices' Chase (12.20) on Thursday.

Winner of the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring, Simonsig's reputation preceeded him ahead of his chasing debut at Ascot last week.

The grey produced a scintillating round of jumping, albeit against little in terms of opposition, and is turned out quickly by Henderson at Kempton.

Henderson, who is as short as 1-6 for the trainers' championship after a four-timer on Wednesday, including the King George and Christmas Hurdle, said: "He didn't have a hard race at Ascot and everything went very well, so I thought it best to get the practice in now. I'd like to get three runs into him, with the third later in January, before putting him away and then freshening him up for Cheltenham.

"It's true that he hasn't run over two miles before. We've always campaigned him over further but he has buckets of pace so dropping down in trip shouldn't be a problem."

Top-class racing also takes place at Leopardstown on Thursday with the Grade 1 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, featuring Sizing Europe, the highlight.

Leopardstown: Soft
Wetherby: Heavy, soft in places
Lingfield: Standard
Wolverhampton: Standard
Limerick: Heavy

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