Henderson seeks to win first of new juvenile hurdle series
Fighting Fifth day at Newcastle hosts the launch of a BHA initiative to support juvenile hurdlers, with the first of a series of four high-value hurdle introductory races.
The aim is to create a pathway for horses who could be introduced to jumps racing following on from their Flat careers, after concerns in recent years about the shortage of runners in juvenile hurdles.
Richard Wayman, chief operating officer for the BHA, said: "The decline in the number of juvenile hurdlers over the past decade is a continuing cause for concern.
"These new juvenile hurdle races have been created to provide some valuable early-season targets and the aim is that they will encourage the owners of more above-average Flat horses to consider hurdling as an attractive option over the winter."
The other three races are scheduled for Sandown (December 2), Musselburgh (December 14) and Kempton (December 27).
Nicky Henderson is supporting the initiative by running Domperignon Du Lys in the Vertem Introductory Juvenile Hurdle (12.35).
"He has run only in one French bumper and we've had him only a couple of months," said Henderson. "He has schooled proficiently and seems to be a straightforward horse."
King unleashes Elgin over hurdles
The Alan King-trained Elgin is an interesting runner in the New EBF 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle (12.05).
A promising runner-up in an Aintree bumper this month, the four-year-old son of Duke Of Marmalade faces 11 rivals, including Dubai Angel, who represents the red-hot combination of Malcolm Jefferson and Brian Hughes.
"Elgin is a promising bumper winner who was a good second under a penalty behind a smart horse in Cruiseaweigh at Aintree three weeks ago," said King. "He's schooled well and will benefit from the easier ground."
Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has high hopes of Bristol De Mai in the At The Races Rehearsal Handicap Chase, also introduces the unexposed Calett Mad in the Weatherbys Stallion Book Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (2.20).
As a four-year-old, the 130-rated Calett Mad receives all the allowances and carries bottom weight of 10st 8lb.
"It's his first run for us and his first over fences," said Twiston-Davies. "He will like the soft ground and the distance."