Sunday, 11 June 2017

Cheltenham Festival runner-up L'Ami Serge completes Nicky Henderson's English and French Champion Hurdle double

Nicky Henderson has completed an English and French Champion Hurdle double, as Festival runner-up L’Ami Serge powered clear at Autueil.

The newly crowned champion trainer enjoyed success on Tuesday’s feature race, as Buveur D'Air forged clear to lift the Champion Hurdle.

In the Irish edition Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours was touched off my Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave at Punchestown.

“It's pretty nice to win the English Champion Hurdle and the French one,” said Seven Barrows handler.

“We were second at Punchestown, otherwise we might have won all three. That would have been good, and rare.”

L’Ami Serge had previously been beaten by a neck in the County Hurdle in the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, creeped into contention before powering clear over the last fence.

He reversed the form with Willie Mullins’ Shaneshill who beat him when the pair clashed at this track a month ago; the Irish challenger finished third behind France’s Alex De Larredya.

"The horse was great, and that was one of the best rides you'll ever see, because we had no idea he'd stay,” the Lambourn handler told Sky Sports.

“It was a brilliant ride and well done to the team. This horse is very relaxed at the moment. When you think he was beaten a neck in the County Hurdle under a big weight over two miles, to then go and do that is quite extraordinary.

“I think he loves these French obstacles, he ran very well in the Prix La Barka when Shaneshill beat him and we were two kilos better off today, so if he stayed he had to have a good chance.

Buveur D'Air gave Nicky Henderson his sixth Champion Hurdle victory in 2017

Henderson’s raider has finished once place better on all three visits to the Festival, he finished fourth behind the mighty Douvan, before a third placed effort the following year and narrow runner-up in the closing day of this year’s Festival.

“The money here (in France) is unbelievable, but I think we'll stay in England,” said the champion trainer.

"We've got all summer to think about what we are going to do and don't forget he's a good jumper of fences.

L'Ami Serge is being priced at around the 16/1 mark for the Stayer’s Hurdle.

1 comment:

  1. Great result for Munir & Souede with first and second. They put a lot of money into having French runners so the result was well deserved. Well done them!