Trabolgan and Blue Shark on the comeback trail; JUMPS OWNERS' DAYS TOP YARDS OPEN THEIR DOORS.
TRABOLGAN and Blue Shark, two of Nicky Henderson's former top-class warriors, are back in active service at Seven Barrows in Lambourn following their prolonged absence because of injury, writes Rodney Masters.
As a result of a tendon problem, Trabolgan has not been seen on a racecourse since his magnificent performance under top weight when winning Newbury's Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup almost three years ago. Now aged ten, he looked in excellent shape when paraded in the sunshine yesterday at the trainer's open day for owners.
If he remains sound, connections are hopeful of getting him to the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
His legs are battle-scarred, but as Henderson pointed out, the Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding has limited mileage, having raced only a dozen times.
"While I appreciate that the years are creeping up on him, I believe there's sufficient time left and it would be wonderful for everyone if we're able to get him to Cheltenham. He recently returned to training here and started cantering the other day."
The trainer added: "As to his schedule for a comeback to the racecourse, I think it's best to play that one by ear.
"It's a shame he had a problem, because his two most recent wins came in a Hennessy and a Royal & SunAlliance Chase."
Blue Shark, a six-year-old also owned by Hemmings, has been absent with a troublesome knee injury since recording a spectacular win in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow at the end of 2005.
"He's hugely talented, and hopefully we can get him back on a racecourse soon," said the trainer.
"The ground was testing at Chepstow when he won, and those conditions seem to suit him well."