Henderson: My Tent Or Yours won’t go Flat
The seven-year-old pulled fiercely for his head for most of the way during the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and ran a fine race in the circumstances, going down by a neck to the fellow JP McManus-owned runner Jezki.
Henderson quipped in the immediate aftermath that he may try to persuade McManus to have a look at Royal Ascot, but feels running his charge over shorter distances on the Flat could light up his star hurdler even more. “He’s in the field as we speak and he definitely won’t be running on the Flat,” said the Seven Barrows handler. “It would certainly be very interesting. He has plenty of speed and I have no doubt he’d be very good at it, but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
“We have enough of a job trying to get him to relax as it is and I’m trying to win a Champion Hurdle or an Arkle with him. Training him to run on the Flat wouldn’t help us in that respect.”
While the Irish Guineas take centre stage this weekend, the big race in Britain is the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock and trainer Eddie Lynam will leave a decision on Sole Power’s participation until as late as possible.
The Irish handler declared the seven-year-old yesterday, with the ground described as good to firm. But, with up to 20 millimetres of rain forecast, the going is likely to be much softer by the weekend.
“He’s travelling tonight but whether he runs or not is purely down to the ground,” said Lynam.
“The forecast is very poor. I think the worse ground I’d run him on would be good to soft.”
Sole Power is one of 10 declarations, with Oisin Murphy booked to ride Hot Streak. With Jamie Spencer going to Ireland to ride Obliterator in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the mounts on both Kevin Ryan’s three-year-old, and David Barron’s Pearl Secret were up for grabs. Hot Streak ran a great race on his return to action when third in the Palace House Stakes, while Graham Gibbons has been declared for Pearl Secret, who finished eighth in the same race.
Scotland’s Jim Goldie is doubly represented with stable stars Jack Dexter and Hawkeyethenoo, but both need to bounce back from disappointing runs in the Duke of York last week.
Meanwhile, Gary Bartley is after more success at Musselburgh tonight – 48 hours after riding his first winner of the campaign. He gets under way on seasonal debutant Merchant Of Dubai who faces ten rivals – including fellow Goldie-trained pair A Southside Boy and Aleksanser – in the Belmont Wallyford Handicap.
Bartley, who is based at Goldie’s Renfrewshire yard, said: “My wife Carol rides him at home and she says he’s in good order. He had a racecourse gallop a couple of weeks ago and he should run very well.”
His next ride is on Thorntoun Care with stablemate Mowhoob among the opposition in the Central Taxis Maiden Stakes. Bartley’s final mount is Funding Deficit in the concluding Gordon And Halliday Flooring Handicap and he said: “This is a new horse to us and he needed the run last time. I don’t think he will be far away if the race is run to suit him.”