Nicky Henderson Insights for Betfair Hurdle at Royal Ascot 2023
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Nicky Henderson Insights for Betfair Hurdle at Royal Ascot 2023

Ascot Racecourse Gears Up for Royal Ascot 2023: Nicky Henderson Shares Insights

Veteran trainer Nicky Henderson has provided an insightful assessment of his four runners ahead of the highly anticipated Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday. The 74-year-old Henderson, who has won Britain’s most valuable handicap hurdle five times, believes that Iberico Lord and Doddiethegreat are the best equipped to handle the testing conditions at the Berkshire racecourse.

Henderson’s stable also features top weight Luccia and Under Control in the competitive line-up. The trainer acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding Luccia’s performance, stating, “I’m never sure about Luccia. She won at Sandown in desperate ground, but I think better ground helps her.” However, he expressed confidence in Iberico Lord and Doddiethegreat, with jockey Nico De Boinville feeling that the former “will like the soft ground.”

The trainer was left puzzled by Iberico Lord’s below-par effort at Ascot’s Christmas meeting, where the horse finished behind Luccia. Henderson said, “I cannot explain Iberico Lord’s run last time, his performance was shocking really. Nothing came to light, and his work has been very good.”

The race will feature Willie Mullins’ Ocastle Des Mottes, who is making his debut for the Irish trainer. The French-bred gelding, who has winning form on heavy ground, is seen as a potential well-handicapped runner, with the British handicapper giving him a lower rating than his Irish counterpart.

The challenging Newbury going has prompted Ben Pauling to withdraw Tellherthename from the Betfair Hurdle. Fans and enthusiasts of Royal Ascot 2023 and the upcoming 2024 edition will be keeping a close eye on the performances of Henderson’s stable runners and the other contenders at this prestigious National Hunt event.

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