One trainer, one jockey, one horse and one race to watch at Newbury on Friday
No trainer has saddled more winners at Newbury than Nicky Henderson and the master of Seven Barrows sends a typically strong team to the opening day of the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting.
Surprisingly, Henderson does not have a representative in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle, but he has a runner in each of the other six races.
The exciting Flinteur Sacre, a brother to the mighty Sprinter Sacre, will be a warm order to get the two-day meeting off to a flying start.
Danny Cook, who returned from a horror injury at Haydock last Saturday, heads to Newbury to partner the Kerry Lee-trained Financier in the novice limited handicap chase (12.45).
Cook required 50 stitches in his face after being trodden on by a horse in a fall at Market Rasen last month, an incident which left him with a broken nose, fractured eye socket and cheekbone.
He is searching for a first winner since coming back and looks an interesting booking for Financier, who was just denied by the reopposing Anemoi at Chepstow last time, as he has a 27 per cent strike-rate (3-11) when riding for Lee.
Paisley Park makes his first start since blowing out in last season's Stayers' Hurdle in a red-hot running of the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury (3.00).
Billed as one of the Cheltenham Festival bankers, the defending champion could finish only seventh behind Lisnagar Oscar and had been treated subsequently for a heart irregularity.
Emma Lavelle reports last year's Long Distance Hurdle winner to be back on song, but he will need to be with Lisnagar Oscar again in opposition and emerging forces McFabulous and Thyme Hill looking to upset the established order.
The Long Distance Hurdle looks the race of the season so far, but the Ladbrokes-sponsored Grade 2 novice chase (1.50) is an intriguing support act given its star-studded roll of honour.
This century alone winners of the 2m4f contest, registered as the Berkshire Novices' Chase, include Cheltenham Gold Cup heroes Denman, Bobs Worth and Coneygree as well as dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux.
There is a small but select field of three this time, with last season's Tolworth Hurdle winner Fiddlerontheroof taking on Caribean Boy and Getaway Trump.
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