Different Gravey: beaten only once over hurdles in five starts
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
DESPITE the daunting prospect of having to take on flawless World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack, Nicky Henderson on Thursday confirmed exciting six-year-old Different Gravey is all set for the challenge in next Saturday’s Grade 1 Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle.
Having returned from ten months on the sidelines to run out a 16-length winner of a handicap hurdle at Ascot in February, Different Gravey had been mooted as a potential runner in the Champion Hurdle or World Hurdle but, having bypassed Cheltenham, he heads into his toughest assignment to date a fresh horse.
“He goes to Aintree,” said Henderson. “We were always going to miss Cheltenham – there was a lot of talk about supplementing him but there was no need to do that and we’re fresh heading there.”
Despite winning a point-to-point over three miles as a a four-year-old, Different Gravey has yet to race beyond an extended two and a half miles in five races under rules, but Henderson has no reservations about the trip and is happy to face the leading staying hurdler in Britain and Ireland.
He added: “Three miles round Aintree will be great for him. I’m Thistlecrack’s biggest admirer but we’ve got to do something between now and next year, so it will at least tell us where we are.”
Different Gravey is rated an 8-1 shot with BoyleSports in a market headed by Thistlecrack at a general 1-3.
Options for Yanworth
Alan King confirmed Neptune Hurdle runner-up Yanworth among his team for Aintree, although which race he contests has yet to be confirmed.
Runner-up to Yorkhill when 11-10 favourite at Cheltenham, Yanworth has the option of dropping in trip at Aintree, but a decision has yet to be made.
King said: “He’s going to have an entry in the Top Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half. There’s no favourite at the moment – we’ll have a look at the entries and see what’s about. He worked on Wednesday and I’m very happy with him.”
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