NICKY Henderson plundered the Chester Cup on Wednesday and he could strike on the flat again today at Ascot. SIGN OF A VICTORY is just below top class over hurdles. In fact his last race over jumps was in the Champion Hurdle in March when he was 23 lengths behind Annie Power. No disgrace at all in that.
His easiest win over hurdles came at Ascot in November 2014 and was on his favoured good ground. Conditions in today’s class three handicap (2.30) should be pretty much ideal and I wonder if Henderson is using this as a stepping stone for a race at the royal meeting with the seven-year-old. He is one from one on the flat, albeit on the all weather, when he hardly broke sweat to win a maiden and he may have been let in lightly today off a mark of 88.
Elsewhere, on a busy day of racing, BATHOS is interesting in the opener at Haydock. He ran much better than his final position suggests at Wolverhampton last month when he was left in the stalls before getting himself into contention turning into the straight. He eventually tired but he should be a lot straighter today. He was a highly progressive juvenile, winning four times, and he showed enough last time to suggest he has trained on.
Alan King has been making hay over jumps this week and MILES TO MEMPHIS (5.50) is interesting at Warwick this evening. He was a very useful bumper horse when he showed a liking for decent ground and his rating of 119 looks fairly attractive. He is up in trip but if he recaptures his novice hurdle form he should go very well.
The Swinton Hurdle (2.15) at Haydock is fiercely competitive and Philip Hobbs has three with a chance. But APTERIX appeals as an each-way poke at around 20/1. Conditions should suit as will the strong gallop.
RIDGE RANGER (3.50) looked in need of her return at Bath and should be sharper at Nottingham today in a Listed contest. She is the highest rated horse in the race and as long as the ground is not too quick she should take all the beating.
Next on the calendar is the Dante meeting at York this week where Epsom Derby favourite Midterm will put his reputation on the line on Thursday. The Musidora Stakes on Wednesday will also provide more clues for the Oaks.