Nicky Henderson
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Catterick Preview: Henderson duo tough to beat

| 03.12.2014

Trainer Nicky Henderson has his first-ever runners at Catterick today, and can come away from the Yorkshire venue with a double via Cocktails At Dawn and Taylor.

Cocktails At Dawn runs in the 2m 3f beginners chase (1.50) and is going to be very tough to beat if building a promising second on his debut over the larger obstacles.

That run came in a class 3 contest at Ascot where the six-year-old made a couple of costly errors and got hampered before keeping on to be beaten 11 lengths by The Clock Leary.

The son of Fair Mix now drops down into class 4 company, and was a cut above his rivals over hurdles.

Cocktails At Dawn ran in some hot contests over the smaller obstacles last season and was officially rated 135, so there is every chance that he will be just as good over fences based on his Ascot run.

Granted a clear round, Cocktails At Dawn should be able to land this with the minimum of fuss before going on to better things.

Taylor shaped with bags of promise when runner-up on her debut over the obstacles, and can go one better in the 2m 3f novices’ hurdle (2.20).

This mare joined Henderson after a promising debut for Stuart Crawford, and ran really well to finish third of 15 to Miss Estela in a decent bumper at Cheltenham.

The five-year-old kept on well from off the pace to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths without being unduly knocked about, and looked the type who would have a bright future over hurdles.

Taylor confirmed that impression when going down by just a head to Queen Of The Stage at Ludlow last month where she looked an unlucky loser.

She was short of room and lost vital ground when having to be switched approaching the final flight, and her rider then dropped his whip on the run-in when the daughter of Presenting seemed to be coming with a winning run.

There is little doubt in my mind that Taylor would have prevailed granted better luck in-running, and this looks a nice opportunity to gain compensation.

12.20: Danceintothelight
12.50: Tweedo Paradiso
1.20: Scrafton
1.50: Cocktails At Dawn (NAP)
2.20: Taylor (NB)
2.50: Gallery Exhibition
3.20: Danielle’s Journey



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.