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A Sweet Deal for Nicky.

Byline: CHRIS BEECH

SWEET DEAL can spearhead a good day at the office for Nicky Henderson by lifting the John Smith's Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh tomorrow.

The five-year-old is one of two runners for the Seven Barrows handler in this event and while stablemate Cool Macavity is technically the better of the two as he is rated 1lb higher, Andrew Tinkler has understandably plumped for this less-exposed runner.

Winner of two of his six starts for Jeremy Noseda on the level, Sweet Deal made a slightly disappointing start over hurdles when only fourth at Sandown in December 2013 but given a bit of time to get over that, he started to shine in the summer.

A winner at Aintree and Uttoxeter in June, he came unstuck on soft ground at Ascot in November, having to settle for second behind Leviathan in what was probably only an average event for its grade.

Upped to Listed level at Sandown, he cut no ice at all on testing ground, finishing a distance behind stablemate Snake Eyes after struggling from a long way out.

Dropped 2lb for that effort by the handicapper, Sweet Deal is on an attractive mark and with Musselburgh likely to offer quicker conditions than of late, Henderson's charge can really shine.

The trainer should also be on the mark with Hargam in the John Smith's Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial.

This French recruit was beaten on his British bow but made no mistake on the second occasion when seeing off a useful yardstick in Karezak at Cheltenham.

He impressed with his attitude that day and given the second has since chased home Hargam's stablemate and Triumph favourite Peace And Co, the form looks pretty decent.

El Namoose can make it a fourth win on the bounce in the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices' Hurdle.

A winner in bumper company at both Worcester and Huntingdon, El Namoose made a good start over obstacles when running out a four-length winner back at Huntingdon.

His jumping was a little sketchy in patches that day but he should have learnt from the experience.

CAPTION(S):

FLEXING HIS MUSSELS Trainer Nicky Henderson

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2015
Words:358
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