Henderson 7-4 for crown after taking lead with RSA one-two
Nicky Henderson's 1-2 in the RSA Chase propelled him ahead of Paul Nicholls and into the lead in the jumps trainers' title race. He ended the day on £1,990,203, nearly £120,000 in front of Nicholls on £1,870,924.
A second place from 9-2 favourite Divin Bere in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle and a third from Claimantakinforgan in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper pushed three-time champion trainer Henderson further clear in a title race he last won in the 2012-13 season.
The Seven Barrows trainer has sent out 19 runners on the first two days of the festival for a tally of three wins, including first-day championship races with Buveur D'Air and Altior, four seconds, including My Tent Or Yours in the Champion Hurdle, and a third.
Nicholls, in contrast, has saddled only eight runners at the festival so far, with fourth place from Arpege D'Alene in the JT McNamara National Hunt Chase, the closest he has come to success.
However, on Wednesday evening Nicholls, who has won the trainers' championship ten times and fought off the challenge of Willie Mullins on the final day of the season last year, was still 1-2 favourite with Paddy Power to hold on to his title, ahead of Henderson on 7-4.
Nicholls' nine-strong firepower for the third day of the meeting includes 9-2 chance Politologue in the opening JLT Novices' Chase, the well-fancied El Bandit, 12-1 for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, and Bouvreuil, 12-1 for the Brown Advisory Plate.
Henderson fields ten third-day runners, headed by 7-2 Top Notch in the JLT and 9-1 Josses Hill in the Ryanair Chase.