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Monday 23 January 2017

Henderson has an eye on Leopardstown for Kotkikova

Nicky Henderson
Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson's exciting French import Kotkikova will not run in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday and could instead be seen at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The five-year-old mare boasted 11 wins in 14 starts for Jean-Paul Gallorini, winning a Grade One chase as well as being placed at the highest level over hurdles, and was snapped up by JP McManus earlier in the year.

"Koktikova doesn't go to Ascot on Saturday, she might go to Ireland for the three-mile hurdle (Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle on December 28) over Christmas at Leopardstown.

"Barry (Geraghty) rode her yesterday and the one thing we do know is that she wants soft ground."

Henderson (above) also revealed Jenkins will not run in the Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Ascot tomorrow, adding: "Jenkins will go to Kempton (at Christmas), he could do a with a bit more experience."

The Seven Barrows handler did confirm Supreme Novices' Hurdle third Buveur D'Air is on course to make his debut over fences in the Racing UK Anywhere Novices' Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Gary Moore has ruled out supplementing Ar Mad for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

The West Sussex trainer spoke in the wake of the six-year-old's fourth in the Tingle Creek Chase that he would not be afraid of stepping up in trip and did not rule out the Christmas feature.

However, his first try at a longer distance is now likely to come in the Ascot Chase over an extended two miles and five furlongs in February.

Moore said: "I spoke to the owner (Ashley Head) and he definitely won't be going to the King George.

"There'll be a lot of pace in the race and it will be a tough race for his first time over three miles."

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