Nicky Henderson, who is currently the trainer of Seven Barrows, thinks the time should be ripe for Beware the Bear to be an able challenge for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury later this November.
The Grade Three Steeplechase will be the feature race during the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury which is set to have a host of stars on the show on November 27 and November 28.
The racecourse, which is set to hold its annual winter events on Tuesday, has welcomed the arrival of Henderson, Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex, Garry Moore, Kim Bailey, Ben Pauling, Tom George, and Emma Lavelle, who all brought their geldings to race ahead of schedule.
Having one horse to take part in the chase for the Ladbrokes Trophy, Henderson said: “He has run really well in this race before and the difference we found out with him is that we always thought he wanted to be up there when coming out of the gate.
“It is the right race for him because he is a genuine stayer. Jerry [McGrath] always rides him and we won’t be forcing him early on.
“We will drop him in so he can find his feet a little bit and he enjoyed himself around the gallops.
“He was supposed to be at Cheltenham, but he was pretty heavy and he needed an extra week so the timing should be perfect.”
Floressa, Altior, Santini, and Rock, who are all stablemates, made an appearance for the Seven Barrows yard with Winners enclosure tips offering punters interesting returns when they put their stakes ahead of the race.
Santini, who has not taken part in any race since Cheltenham back in March, will be expected to make a return in the William Hill Many Clouds Chase at Aintree in December.
Henderson added: “He had an entry in the Betfair Chase on Saturday, but I never thought that it was his sort of track and I don’t think Kempton is either, which makes life difficult.
“He is a horse who wants a big galloping track and if you saw him schooling the other day, he looked electric.”
On the 5th of December, Altior, who has yet to feature in any race since his victory at Newbury back in February, will be marking his return for the Tingle Creek at Sandown.
Asked about Altior, Henderson said: “He is good – he loves his jumping and I used him as a pacemaker at the gallops.”
Wiltshire trainer Emma Lavelle, who is also in attendance, voiced her frustrations regarding De Rasher Counter, who won came out victorious for the Ladbrokes Trophy last season, is ruled out for the season having succumbed to a leg injury.
Speaking, she said: “There isn’t a lot wrong with him, but there is a little bit of shake in that tendon.
“I am not going to try and get him back this season; we’ll give him time and bring him back for next season.”
Warren Greatrex, who is Lambourn’s trainer, will be guiding La bague Au Roi to feature in the race. He said: “If it is soft ground she probably won’t come, but if it is good-to-soft or better then she will probably take her chance.”
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