Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse racing tips and the latest news.
PENTLAND Hills endeavours to boost his credentials as a leading contender for the Champion Hurdle when he contests the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The Grade 2, two miles and one-furlong contest carries prize money of £140,000 and is the feature race on the second day of The International meeting at Cheltenham on Friday and Saturday.
The dual Grade 1 winner has won all of his three starts since joining Nicky Henderson from Newmarket Handler Chris Wall where he was a consistent performer on the flat, winning twice and placing four times in 11 starts.
Pentland Hills’ progression over obstacles has been spectacular. The son of 2005 Epsom Derby winner Motivator won a maiden hurdle at Plumpton on his debut in February, before springing a 20-1 shock when winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
He followed up with a victory in the Grade1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle at Aintree in April at the final start of a terrific campaign.
Henderson this week confirmed that his charge – who is best priced at 8-1 for the 2020 Unibet Champion Hurdle – is set to return in Saturday’s feature event where he faces a maximum of nine opponents.
“He’s been away for a racecourse gallop and is in great form,” the Lambourn trainer continued.
In other news HRH The Princess Royal will be represented as an owner at The International on Friday with homebred Chequered View in the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase over an extended two and a half miles.
The progressive six-year-old, trained locally by Martin Keighley, is on a career-high mark after winning two of her last three starts, scoring by 17-lengths at Worcester in September, finishing runner-up at Hereford and then winning by three lengths at Fakenham last month.
Keighley said “Chequered View is very well at home and the intention at the moment is to run at Cheltenham rather than Hereford.
“She is in the form of her life and a stiff two and a half miles around Cheltenham is sure to suit her.
“It’s great to have a runner here for Princess Anne. She is in Scotland this weekend so sadly won’t see the horse running but Zara Tindall is going to be here.
“We could not be happier with Chequered View and are hoping for another good run.”
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