CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL SHORTS: Nicky Henderson still hopes to run favourite Sir Gino in the Triumph Hurdle… but the Cross Country Chase will not be rescheduled

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Nicky Henderson is still hoping to run ante-post favourite Sir Gino in Friday’s JCB Triumph Hurdle despite scratching some of his biggest hopes of the week with a cloud hanging over the stable.

The trainer, who is testing all his runners before giving them the green light, pulled Jonbon out of Wednesday’s Queen Mother Champion Chase and will not run Shishkin in Friday’s Boodles Gold Cup. 

He has also pulled Champ out of Thursday’s Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

There were doubts over Henderson’s string coming into the meeting after Constitution Hill was ruled out of the Champion Hurdle with a respiratory condition.

On Tuesday, Henderson had the Champion Hurdle third Luccia but his other five runners were pulled up.

Nicky Henderson has refused to pull favourite Sir Gino out of Friday's Triumph Hurdle

Nicky Henderson has refused to pull favourite Sir Gino out of Friday’s Triumph Hurdle

On Wednesday he had three runners — Jingko Blue, who was pulled up in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle, and Lucky Place and Doddiethegreat, who were fourth and 12th respectively in the Coral Cup.

Henderson said: ‘I’m afraid we have had to make some very tough decisions. It was there for all to see that there is something affecting nearly all of our horses.’

Wednesday’s abandoned Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase will not be rescheduled for Friday’s Gold Cup card.

Showers are likely Thursday and Friday, meaning the waterlogged circuit in the centre of the course is unlikely to recover in time.

The race was being used as a springboard to next month’s Grand National by several runners including Delta Work, Minella Indo and Coko Beach.

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