NICKY HENDERSON’s Angels Breath puts his Cheltenham credentials on the line in a Listed race at Huntingdon today.
The five-year-old grey is ante-post favourite for next month’s Festival curtain-raiser, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, on the back of an impressive debut at Ascot in December.
Angels Breath missed an intended engagement at Haydock last month but will now get some valuable experience under his belt before Cheltenham.
Owner Dai Walters has another leading contender for the Supreme in the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer, who heads the betting for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
‘If he runs well, he won’t run again until Cheltenham,’ Walters said of Angels Breath. ‘We’ve got two horses. We don’t want to run them against each other. I think after Saturday, we should know where the horses are going.’
Henderson said Angels Breath was ready for his second start over hurdles.
‘We’ve got through the bad weather so it’s time to get going,’ said the trainer. ‘He needs the experience.
‘I thought it was a good place to go. It’s a good track and it’s a nice race for him, and it will be a good test I’m sure.’
Angels Breath should have most to fear from Emitom, whose trainer Warren Greatrex has a good record in today’s Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle having won it in 2016 and 2017 — and saddling the runner-up 12 months ago.
‘It looks a hot renewal,’ he said. ‘It will be a good test to see what he can do.’
TIP OF THE DAY
Minella For Me 1.40 Doncaster
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