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Nicky Henderson hopeful of Grand National success with Caribean Boy

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Nicky Henderson hopeful of Grand National success with Caribbean Boy


Nicky Henderson managed a fifth-placed finish in the 2007 Grand National with Libertine, however since then his record in the world-famous steeplechase reads FU9U0FPP0UF0P. Nevertheless the handler reckons that he has a realistic chance of success of lifting this National curse this weekend with Caribean Boy.

Henderson is the most successful British trainer at the Cheltenham Festival and he managed a second at the 1979 Grand National with Zongalero, while he got a third in the race with Classified in 1986 and one better when Tsarevich finished runner-up twelve months later.

Since then the six-time champion trainer has had nothing really to shout about in the Grand National but Caribean Boy may provide him with a chance to complete the missing piece of his illustrious CV.

The grey is an outside chance for the Grand National at a general 66/1 and the eight-year-old will be partnered by Nico de Boinville.

Henderson said: “He schooled over the National fences in Upper Lambourn last week and it went very well – he was really good. He’s always struck us as the right horse for this – he’s a big, strapping, long-striding bold jumper who does stay.

“He doesn’t want extremes of ground and it was horrible when he was pulled up at Ascot last time. He doesn’t like that, but is in really good order.”

Regarding his less than impressive record in the Grand National of late with nine runners either unseating or falling at the first, the trainer added: “We’ve had seconds and thirds and nearly ones with fallers on the second circuit when they might have been in very good positions.

“What’s really nice and good for everyone at our end is that we’re going into it this with a runner, which we haven’t had many of over the last few years, but a runner that I’d consider to be a realistic runner.

“That gives it a bit more excitement and you’d say one or two of ours in recent years were outsiders who deserved to be outsiders whereas this horse is probably more in the middle of the pack.

“It’s exciting because he does give us a chance and if you’re not in, you can’t win.”