GBI RACING

Kempton reverse has failed to dent Supreme confidence in Angels Breath

Nicky Henderson will be double-handed in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Nicky Henderson believes the professionalism of Angels Breath can come to the fore and help him secure a fourth success in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.

After running away with a Grade Two contest at Ascot on his debut, the five-year-old suffered an odds-on defeat at the same level on his most recent outing, in last month’s Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

With the stiffer two miles expected to be in his favour, the Seven Barrows handler, who will also saddle Mister Fisher, is confident Angels Breath can leave that defeat behind and show his true colours in the Festival curtain-raiser.

Henderson said: “Angels Breath got beaten the other day, but that doesn’t worry me one iota. He only had one previous run at Ascot and they only jumped four hurdles because of the wind.

“Although he got beaten, it was over a sharp two miles which bears no relation to what we are going to be doing on Tuesday. It was a sound performance and we had a fair bit of time off after the Kennel Gate.

“He has had only two runs in his life, but I think he is very professional and I’ve got to say he is a talented young horse. Mister Fisher is very talented, but I would have been surprised if Nico (de Boinville) hadn’t gone for him.”

Mister Fisher will bid to give jockey James Bowen the perfect 18th birthday present
Mister Fisher will bid to give jockey James Bowen the perfect 18th birthday present (Julian Herbert/PA)

Having steered Mister Fisher to Grade Two glory at Haydock last time out, jockey James Bowen hopes Mister Fisher can provide him with the perfect 18th birthday present.

He said: “Mister Fisher has shown a lot at home and I can’t wait to ride him. He won well last time and I think there is more to come from him. I think the big field will be fine.

“He has got a lot of pace, but he is a good traveller and that is what you want in a race like the Supreme. He probably would have preferred a bit better ground, but he will probably get away with it as it is the first race of the meeting.

“It’s my 18th birthday (on Tuesday) and if he wins that would be the best birthday present ever.”

Al Dancer is seeking to back up his Betfair Hurdle win and give trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies a second victory in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Al Dancer is seeking to back up his Betfair Hurdle win and give trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies a second victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (David Davies/PA)

Nigel Twiston-Davies is keeping his fingers crossed Al Dancer, who will earplugs as opposed to a hood, can back up his impressive Betfair Hurdle victory by going three places better than his stablemate Ballyandy, who attempted the same double in 2017.

Twiston-Davies said: “He was very good last time, so let’s hope he can do it again.

“I was very pleased with the Betfair Hurdle run and this is the sort of race that should be run to suit him. The ground will be fine, as he has won on heavy and good.

“We just thought we would use the earplugs as they seem to help settle him more at home than the hood. I don’t think having course form and having already run in a big field will be an advantage.”

Fakir D’Oudairies, now owned by JP McManus, seen winning at Cheltenham in January (
Fakir D’Oudairies, now owned by JP McManus, seen winning at Cheltenham in January (David Davies/PA)

Although Fakir D’Oudairies ran riot over his rivals in a Triumph Hurdle trial at the track in January, his trainer Joseph O’Brien has no issues in switching targets, with stablemate Sir Erec favourite for the Triumph.

O’Brien said: “I’ve no problem running the horse in any race – if you’re not in you can’t win.

“I don’t think there have been many four-year-olds to actually do it (run in the Supreme), as far as legitimate contenders are concerned – I believe Binocular and one or two others have been placed in it.

“I’m up for giving it a shot and to have a Cheltenham winner for JP (MccManus) would be a dream.”

Grand Sancy is looking for a first top-level triumph having landed the Kingwell Hurdle last time out
Grand Sancy is looking for a first top-level triumph having landed the Kingwell Hurdle last time out (Clint Hughes/PA)

It has been eight years since Al Ferof gave 10 times champion trainer Paul Nicholls his second victory in the race but in Grand Sancy he believes he has a worthy contender to end his recent drought.

Nicholls said: “We think we have a great chance with him in what looks an open race. He has just

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