Grand National - At The Races

Nicky Henderson Stable Tour

    The Master of Seven Barrows discusses the embarrassment of riches at his disposal for the Grand National meeting at Aintree.
  • Thursday 05 April 2018
  • Stable Tours

Aintree once again proved a happy hunting ground for Nicky Henderson in 2017 with three winners, five seconds and one third putting him in second place in the trainers’ table at the meeting to Colin Tizzard who hauled in five victories last time around.

The competitive Henderson will be looking to settle that score and once again has a formidable squad for the three-day meeting with My Tent Or Yours looking to go better than in 2017 in the Aintree Hurdle and Might Bite, winner of the Mildmay Novices’ Chase 12 months ago, looking to get back on the winning track in the Betway Bowl after a colossal effort when runner-up to Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Rather Be provided Henderson with a third success last year when winning the Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle and Lough Derg Spirit looks likely to head a welter of contenders in that event this time around.

Henderson was crowned Aintree Champion trainer in 2014 (4 winners), 2013 (5 winners) and 2012 (6 winners) and with the wealth of talent being lined up including Apple’s Shakira, Brain Power, OK Corral, Santini and On The Blind Side, to name but a few, who’s to say he won’t end the week as Champion in 2018?

Here, the Master of Seven Barrows kindly guided Tony Elves of attheraces.com through those who will be on duty at Aintree over the course of the Grand National meeting.

Older Horses

Apple's Shakira (FR)

  • 4-y-o; bay filly
  • Breeding: Saddler Maker - Apple's For Ever (Nikos)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 12 Apr 2018 14:20
  • Result: 3/10, held up towards rear, headway when not much room on bend before 3 out, not fluent at 3 out, soon ridden, 3rd when not fluent 2 out, soon beaten, one pace
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

She will be one of our three entries in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. She was a bit too keen in the Triumph so we will put a hood on her at Aintree and hopefully she will settle down and show her previous form.

Brain Power (IRE)

Trainer Says:

“Brain Power will probably step up to two and a half miles in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase as it looks like Footpad will go for two-mile novices’ chase. He ran a great race in the Arkle to finish second to that horses and he has come out of the race well.

Video Form
28 Apr 2017:
26 Apr 2016:

Chef Des Obeaux (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Saddler Maker - O Dame De Gene (Passing Sale)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 16:40
  • Result: PU/13, held up in mid-division, not fluent 5th, pushed along and struggling after 4 out, soon behind, pulled up before 3 out
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He disappointed us in the Albert Bartlett but he is obviously much better than he showed that day and there is a chance he could go for the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

Video Form
22 Dec 2017:

Claimantakinforgan (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Great Pretender - Taquine D'estrees (Take Risks)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Ayr, 21 Apr 2018 14:55
  • Result: 2/16, tracked leaders, stayed on from last, went 2nd flat, no impression on winner towards finish
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He could run in the Top Novices’ Hurdle on the Friday but there is a possibility I could move him up to two and a half miles in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. He ran a solid race when beaten just over five lengths when finishing fifth to Summerville Boy in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and if I do step him up to two and a half then I could slot one of the four-year-olds in there rather than having three four-year-olds all running against each other

Video Form
22 Feb 2017:

Days Of Heaven (FR)

Trainer Says:

He is one of my entries in the Topham and he is another who will be ideally suited by the trip.

Video Form
15 Jun 2018:
27 May 2018:
28 May 2017:
23 Sep 2016:

Gold Present (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Presenting - Ouro Preto (Definite Article)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Ayr, 21 Apr 2018 16:05
  • Result: PU/29, chased leaders, led 8th, hit 14th, headed 19th, weakened after 23rd, pulled up before 4 out
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

Gold Present is our only one in the Grand National. He needs it to dry up and you never know but it is unlikely.

Video Form
26 Nov 2016:

Kilcrea Vale (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Beneficial - Inflation (Port Etienne)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 16:05
  • Result: 4/27, chased leaders to 7th, soon behind, 9th 2 out, soon ridden, rallied after last, stayed on into 4th after elbow, not pace to trouble leaders
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He will be one of my three in the Topham. He has run two very good races over two miles and five furlongs at Haydock and Ascot this season and the trip in the Topham looks ideal.

Video Form
16 Dec 2017:
26 Feb 2017:

L'ami Serge (IRE)

Trainer Says:

He will be entered in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle. But I don’t really know where to place L’Ami Serge. All options will be open to him and, if Altior did wait for Sandown, he could easily come into the reckoning for the Melling Chase.

Video Form
27 Jan 2018:
26 Feb 2017:
3 Jan 2016:

Lough Derg Spirit (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Sno-cat Lady (Executive Perk)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Sandown, 28 Apr 2018 17:15
  • Result: 10/19, mid-division, headway on inside chasing leaders before 3 out, hung right approaching 2 out, ridden and weakened between last 2, slightly hampered last
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He could run in the Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle but we could well have six or seven entries in the race and we won’t know for sure which ones run until nearer the time. He gave a good account of himself in the Martin Pipe and the Alder Hey looks the race for him.

Might Bite (IRE)

Trainer Says:

The plan is for Might Bite to run in the Betway Bowl on the opening day of the meeting. He worked on Tuesday morning and he worked very well and the plan is to go for that race. He ran a great race at Cheltenham and we were delighted with him and, as he showed last year, he takes his races well.

Video Form
9 Feb 2017:
9 Dec 2016:
6 Nov 2016:

Mister Fisher (IRE)

Trainer Says:

He won his bumper at Kempton last month quite nicely and he could run in the Weatherbys Racing Bank bumper on the Friday.

My Tent Or Yours (IRE)

Trainer Says:

My Tent had to miss Cheltenham but is back in good form.

Video Form
28 Apr 2017:
29 Apr 2016:

O O Seven (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Flemensfirth - Kestral Heights (Eagle Eyed)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Sandown, 28 Apr 2018 14:25
  • Result: 3/6, jumped well although to the left, led, ridden after 3 out, headed next, lost 2nd approaching last, weakened run-in, just held on for 3rd
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

O O Seven would be one of our three in the Topham along with Kilcrea Vale and Days Of Heaven. He finished fourth in the Topham last year and I was thinking about the National but we ran him over three miles and furlong in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham and I am not convinced he stays so he will come back to the two miles five.

Video Form
10 Dec 2016:
29 Apr 2016:

Ok Corral (IRE)

Trainer Says:

He ran a cracker in the Albert Bartlett when runner-up with Santini just behind in third and has come out of the race well. He is another in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle and he goes there in very good form.

On The Blind Side (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Such A Set Up (Supreme Leader)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 14 Apr 2018 14:25
  • Result: 6/12, tracked leader until 6th, pushed along before 3 out, one pace in 4th when not much room and switched right before mistake 2 out, weakened flat
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He wasn’t quite ready for Cheltenham but we hope he will be ready for the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. He has won his three hurdles for us and it would be an ideal race for him.

Santini

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Milan - Tinagoodnight (Sleeping Car)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 16:40
  • Result: Won/13, led until after 1st, pressed leader, brought alone to stands side and led 3 out, edged left and pressed flat, stayed on well and in command towards finish
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He is one of my three in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle along with OK Corral and Chef Des Obeaux. OK Corral and Santini finished second and third in the Albert Bartlett and Chef Des Obeaux was disappointing at Cheltenham but might run again.

Style De Garde (FR)

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Anowe De Jelois (Red Guest)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 14:20
  • Result: PU/13, tracked leaders, hit 5th, not fluent next, ridden and weakening when hampered on bend before 3 out, pulled up before 3 out
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

He could run in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. He ran an excellent race to finish second in the Fred Winter under 11st 8lb and he deserves to take his chance.

Terrefort (FR)

  • 5-y-o; grey gelding
  • Breeding: Martaline - Vie De Reine (Mansonnien)
  • Trained by: N J Henderson
  • Last Race: Aintree, 13 Apr 2018 14:50
  • Result: Won/9, held up in touch, went 3rd at 12th, hit 3 out, challenged after next, ridden to lead before last, asserted clear final 110 yards
  • View full form
Trainer Says:

Terrefort will be entered for both the Manifesto Novices’ Chase over two and a half miles on the opening day and the three-mile one furlong Mildmay Novices’ Chase on the Friday. He was another who acquitted himself very well at Cheltenham when finishing second to Shattered Love in the JLT Novices’ Chase and he has pleased us with the way he has come out of that race.

Verdana Blue (IRE)

Trainer Says:

She may well join Buveur D’Air and My Tent Or Yours in the Aintree Hurdle if the ground dries out.

Video Form
4 Jan 2017:
30 Sep 2016:
11 Jul 2016:
4 Jun 2016:
26 May 2016:

We Have A Dream (FR)

Trainer Says:

He will be one of our entries in the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. We Have A Dream had to miss Cheltenham as he got a temperature three days before so he comes in a fresh horse and he should be ideally suited by the course. He got a bit bogged down in desperate ground at Musselburgh but he was still go enough to win and he is lovely horse.

Video Form
6 Jan 2018:
16 Dec 2017: