Weekend Article. Nicky Henderson Cheltenham Update & Winter Racing Review.

As we move onto another weekend of racing i'm looking at a couple of topics that have caught my eye throughout the last week that I'd very much like the share some thoughts and opinions on.

This week it emerged that Nicky Henderson wasn't fully happy with the Cheltenham Festival preparation that his star hurdler and hot Champion Hurdle favourite Buveur D'air had received. The reason that this has got my attention is basically because i'm just a bit baffled by it really. Despite that ridiculous race which Buveur D'air won at Sandown when he was something like 1/14 against John Constable, I could understand why Nicky went for it instead of going over to Ireland for the Dublin Racing Festival.

However to now come out and say the preparation hasn't been vigorous enough suggests that if that's the mood then why didn't Buveur D'air go to Ireland and take his chance? Speaking in hindsight of course but how the race panned out he would've likely won and got properly race fit and arguably the perfect Cheltenham preparation. Very confusing indeed, i'm sure many people have shared opinions on the matter and i'm sure Nicky will find the correct solution and get this star horse to Cheltenham in top drawer condition.

Onto my next topic and that's winter racing in general and the bottomless ground that we often see at tracks like Haydock Park week in week out. I'd just like to get a general consensus of how many people actually enjoy a spectacle of a horse 74 lengths clear of everything else struggle to get over the last flight to claim a race. As a Flat racing fan, it's obviously something that i'm not a massive fan of seeing and it puts the jockey in a really difficult situation, i'll go into why.

As we saw at Haydock last week Yala Enki won the Grand National Trial by a distance beating Blaklion into second who had a real testing race carrying top weight around in heavy going. Now this was brought to my attention when listening to my favourite racing podcast The Final Furlong Podcast (A must listen for all racing fans), Sam Twiston-Davies was faced with a really tough decision on what to do with Blaklion as the horse behind him in Mysteree was still going. This basically left Sam in a situation of where he had to keep on asking the horse for more so he could hold on for second place as the prize money for connections in these kind of races is a decent amount. A tough situation for both rider and horse.

I do think that there needs to be some kind of review into what kind of heavy going we deem raceable on and what is a little bit too far. As there has been many races this year in my opinion anyway that have been tough to watch. Just my opinion, i'm sure many will have conflicting views. Thanks for reading.

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