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Todays Action: Newbury: Katarino prep race put on hold.

KATARINO, ante-post favourite for the Elite Racing Club Triumph Hurdle, sidesteps his intended warm-up race for the Festival feature in the Stroud Green Hurdle at Newbury today.

Nicky Henderson's exciting French import has been out of action for over two months after returning home with a cough following his impressive win at Cheltenham in December and his trainer was keen for him to take his chance in the Stroud Green Juvenile Novices' Hurdle.

But Henderson has decided to wait a little longer and has opted for a choice of targets at either Kempton or Huntingdon later this month after Katarino's training routine was disrupted by the cold snap.

"Katarino is still not 100 per cent fit after his lay-off and I have decided to wait a little longer," said Henderson. "He has missed a couple of bits of work this week with the freezing weather.

"The horse is in good form, but I have been wondering whether I should run him at Newbury and I've decided against it. The bad weather has not helped us over the past few days and it would be a shame if he lost his unbeaten record before Cheltenham."

The Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on February 27 or the Chatteris Fen Hurdle at Huntingdon two days earlier are the options.

"Both races should suit him fine and give us lots of time to prepare him for Cheltenham."

Henderson added that Katarino had been going nicely at home.

"Last week Katarino was working extremely well with Sharpical," he said. "But if Sharpical doesn't win the Tote Gold Trophy on Saturday that doesn't mean Katarino will not be going to Cheltenham!"
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 1999
Words:276
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Next Article:Todays Action: Newbury: Quel Senor tests; Festival claim; Doumen's Group 3 winner in France out to translate Flat prowess to hurdles after being...


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