Nicky Henderson’s hope ready to go up a Notch

Nicky Henderson saddles Top Notch in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Nicky Henderson saddles Top Notch in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Top Notch is a fascinating prospect for the staying division and gets the chance to test his credentials in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle on a cracking card that welcomes in the New Year at Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson’s charge was among the best as a juvenile hurdler last season and while he is in that often tricky second term, Top Notch has already shown he still has the required talent. He chased home Irving at Haydock on his return before pushing Identity Thief all the way when beaten a neck in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.

That one has since gone on to run Nichols Canyon close at Leopardstown, giving the form a pleasing appearance, and Top Notch is well worth a try over this two-and-a-half-mile trip.

Seeyouatmidnight can make the long journey south pay dividends in the BetBright #realfansonly Novices’ Chase, better known as the Dipper. Grade One-placed over hurdles, he fluffed his lines on his chasing bow but righted that defeat by gaining revenge on conqueror Silso at Kelso last time. He jumped beautifully on that occasion and won as he liked, which points to further progression now he is upped in class.

Colms Dream can deliver in the totequadpot Scottish Premier Chase at Musselburgh, while Oscar Sunset can star at Exeter in the Bathwick Tyres Taunton Beginners’ Chase.

Definitly Red turned in an excellent second in a Grade Three hurdle on his most recent run and must make the shortlist as he switches to fences in the Dine And View At Catterick Races Novices’ Chase at Catterick.

Meanwhile, Richard Fahey has enjoyed his best ever year in 2015 and Modernism can get 2016 off to a flying start for the trainer in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap at Southwell.

Modernism contributed to Fahey’s record haul over the last calendar year with victories at Pontefract in May and Lingfield in December, that latter win suggesting he has now rediscovered his better form.

While he endured a winless summer, Modernism dropped through the ratings a little despite his relative consistency, eventually starting off a mark of 82 when lining up in Surrey last time out.

He did just enough to win that day and while a 6lb penalty is clearly not ideal, Fahey’s charge should at least have his confidence suitably restored ahead of a bid for successive wins.

Underdressed has hit the post on her last couple of outings but is worth a shout as she switches from maiden company for the Unibet Offer Daily Jockey/Trainer Specials Handicap.

She was beaten nearly five lengths by a subsequent Listed winner Katie’s Diamond back in May, before spending the summer on the sidelines.

Sent off favourite on her return at this track in November, she found a 50-1 shot a neck too good but was probably just in serious need of the outing.

Underdressed should strip fitter for that run and her initial mark of 67 looks far from harsh.