Monday’s Racing Chatter – Super Serge!

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Nicky Henderson at Stables

Henderson’s A Happy Chappie

Nicky Henderson was delighted after L’Ami Serge won the G1 French Champion Hurdle, at Auteuil this weekend. A bumper payout was secured for connections, but the trainer says the the 7-year-old’s future lies in England.

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“The horse was great and that was one of the best rides you’ll ever see, because we had no idea he’d stay. It was experimental.

“We put a hood on him and a different bit on him and Daryl had to drop him out, but I didn’t know by that much. It was a brilliant ride and well done to the team.

“This horse is very relaxed at the moment. When you think he was beaten a neck in the County Hurdle under a big weight over two miles, to then go and do that is quite extraordinary.

“We’ve got all summer to think about what we are going to do and don’t forget he’s a good jumper of fences. I think he loves these French obstacles.

“He ran very well in the Prix La Barka when Shaneshill beat him and we were two kilos better off today, so if he stayed he had to have a good chance.

“We’ll have to see. The ground here today wasn’t anything like as soft as Auteuil normally gets. I don’t think he’d be a horse for Auteuil in the middle of winter when it’s pretty heavy.

“The money here is unbelievable, but I think we’ll stay in England.”

Brave Baker Needs Time To Heal

George Baker remains positive about his future, following his fall in St Moritz which occured in February. It is likely to be some time before he can return to being a full-time professional jockey.

“I’m a little bit wobbly on my feet still, but I’m making progress, so it’s great.

“I’m going to go to Royal Ascot for one day for sure, and I thought I’d better come racing and see how I get on, do something out of my comfort zone.

“Racing has been very kind to me going through a bad period, everyone has been very friendly.

“I’ve been very lucky with my career, but these things happen and you have to deal with them when they come along and I’m lucky that my recovery is going well.

“As it stands I’m not allowed to drive for a year, so I won’t be able to do anything for that period of time. It is obviously something I’d like to do, but I just don’t know is medically possible at the moment. I haven’t found out about it yet, we’ll have to see what happens.

“I love horse racing. I’ve kept an eye on it and I’m very lucky that everyone I’ve dealt with in the past has kept me in the loop, so I’m still aware of what’s going on and I enjoy watching it.”

Penny Dropping Out

Kevin Prendergast was celebrating, after Penny Pepper triumphed in the G3 Ballyogan Stakes, but the trainer says we have seen the last of the 5-year-old on the track.

“She’s in foal and I think that will be the end of the road for her – she won’t run again. I’d say that’s probably it unless the owner wants to change his mind. She’s in foal to Dragon Pulse and he bred him.

“We’ll see what happens, but she’s done her job now as she had placed black type before.

“I was hoping she’s be placed, and to be honest didn’t think she’d win, but Chris Hayes was very sweet on her and she was working very well. She loves that ground.

“We had the dam Evening Time and she was quite good. She won two Listed races.”

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