Nicky Henderson confident of Santini Cheltenham run


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Trainer Nicky Henderson is confident Santini will still line up in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at next week’s Cheltenham Festival, despite pulling off a shoe when schooling at Newbury on Sunday.

Santini’s price for the race started to drift on Monday, leading to speculation that he would not be taking part.

The seven-year-old was last in action on Boxing Day where he finished third in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, with La Bague Au Roi winning the contest after a gutsy display during the winter.

Santini has been the long-time ante-post favourite for the Cheltenham Grade One contest since he won on debut over fences at Newbury back on December 1.

Main market rival Delta Work now heads the betting for the race at 3.00, with Gordon Elliott’s camp confident their charge will have too much on Wednesday week.

Topofthegame is also available at the same price as Santini at 4.50 to win, with Henderson taking to Twitter to try and dispel the doubts about his charge’s participation at Prestbury Park.

He said: “Santini lost a shoe yesterday and our vet poulticed it as a precautionary measure.

“I have been away from the yard today but have spoken to my staff and they report him fine and we see no reason why he won’t run in the RSA.

“Should that change, I will update accordingly.” Ok Corral is also fancied for the race at Cheltenham at odds of 7.00, while On The Blind Side is available at 9.00.

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