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Henderson hopes Cheltenham Festival winner Champ can brush up on his jumping for the Gold Cup

Trainer Nicky Henderson is formulating a plan to send Champ back to jumping school with former trainer Henrietta Knight ahead of a potential shot at the biggest jumps prizes next season.

Barry Geraghty-ridden Champ produced one of the moments of the Cheltenham Festival, storming home from a seemingly impossible possible to snatch victory in the RSA Chase.

The JP McManus-owned gelding, who fell heavily on his previous run, won despite being generally slower over the fences than his main RSA Chase rivals.

In the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival, Racemail highlighted how Knight, who trained the great triple Gold Cup winner Best Mate with her late husband Terry Biddlecombe, has become a sought-after help teaching horses to jump and ironing out problems.

Henderson said: ‘You’d have to say that the Gold Cup is the plan and quite possibly the King George en-route.

‘I have spoken to JP McManus about it and I have already mentioned it to Henrietta Knight, which is where I would like him to go in the autumn, to go and have an intensive session of Jumping so that we are going to be slicker and better. Then I think he is a Gold Cup horse.’ 

Writing in his Unibet Blog, Henderson added that unplaced Champion Hurdle runner Pentland Hills may need another breathing operation while 2017 King George VI Chase winner Might Bite, who finished seventh to Easysland in the Cross Country Chase, will stick to cross country chasing with one eye on the 2021 Grand National.

Altior, denied a chance to win a third Queen Mother Champion Chase because of a leg problem, will stick to two miles next year.


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