Santini set for Newbury gallop ahead of Aintree date

Santini will have a spin at Newbury on Tuesday before his planned return to competitive action in next month’s William Hill Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.

Last season’s Gold Cup runner-up will join a stellar cast to take part in the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival gallops morning at the Berkshire venue – with his trainer Nicky Henderson also sending dual Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Altior, Champion Hurdle victor Epatante and Shishkin, who was last seen landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

After deciding against entering Santini for Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock, the Seven Barrows handler intends to use the exercise as a stepping stone towards Aintree’s Grade Two feature over three miles one furlong on December 5.

Henderson said: “The plan is to gallop Santini at Newbury tomorrow morning. I said a few weeks ago he probably wouldn’t be ready for Haydock.

“To be honest, I never thought Haydock was likely to be his track either, and we were not quite going to get there in time.

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“Looking at it, the Many Clouds up at Aintree is the obvious race to run him in.”

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