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    08 February 2024

    Henderson’s self-assurance thriving alongside the esteemed Sir Gino

    The Unstoppable Rise of Sir Gino in the Juvenile Hurdling Scene

    Nicky Henderson, the mastermind behind Seven Barrows stables, still firmly believes that Sir Gino is the undisputed frontrunner among this season’s juvenile hurdlers. Even after closely observing all the action from last weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival, where Willie Mullins’ horses dominated with an extraordinary eight Grade One wins.

    Henderson humorously referred to it as “the Willie Mullins racing festival,” acknowledging Mullins’ incredible success at Leopardstown over the two-day event. Nevertheless, he remains confident in Sir Gino’s prospects for continued excellence despite some noteworthy performances by other novices.

    A Potential Surprise Contender?

    Sir Gino is currently a favorite at odds of around 4-5 for the highly anticipated Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival. Following his impressive British debut win and a commanding ten-length triumph over Burdett Road on Trials day at Prestbury Park, there is no denying his talent. However, Henderson acknowledges that surprises are always possible and is not ruling out another contender emerging late in the game.

    Galopin Des Champs’ Dominance

    The highlight of Mullins’ victories at the Dublin Racing Festival was Galopin Des Champs, who reclaimed his Irish Gold Cup title by defeating Fastorslow. This victory marked a reversal in their recent encounters, where Fastorslow had proven to be the stronger competitor. Now, all eyes are on Galopin Des Champs as he prepares for a defense of his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown.

    A Tough Challenge Ahead

    Henderson is optimistic about Shishkin’s chances in the upcoming Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury, but even if everything goes according to plan, he anticipates a formidable challenge from Galopin Des Champs at the Cotswolds next month. As a proven Gold Cup winner and known for his clinical and professional approach to racing, Galopin Des Champs is undoubtedly the horse to beat.

    Henderson acknowledges that it won’t be an easy task but remains hopeful that there might still be a way to overcome this seemingly unbeatable rival.


    The stage is set for an exhilarating season of jumps racing with Sir Gino leading the juvenile hurdling pack and Galopin Des Champs reigning supreme among seasoned competitors. With surprises always lurking around every corner in horse racing, fans can look forward to thrilling battles and unexpected twists as we approach the highly anticipated Cheltenham Festival.

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