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08 Apr 21 14:01
Date Joined: 26 Jun 12
| Topic/replies: 298 | Blogger: Newmarket-spurs's blog
What is wrong with Nicky Henderson? Is this the decline that happens to many top trainers in the twilight of their careers or just a one season blip?
Yes he will have some big winners as he has arguably the most powerful English yard.
Yes it doesn't help that he no longer has Barry G as stable jockey & has through blind loyalty stayed faithful to Nico De Bonville who is way out of his depth and costs him at least 10/15 winners per year.

But something is wrong - every statistic is way way off from his usual.
Pause Switch to Standard View Nicky Henderson - in decline?
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Report strontium April 8, 2021 3:16 PM BST
Didn't his head lad of many years retire? And he is going blind, which can't help.
Report acey deucy April 8, 2021 3:19 PM BST
I doubt Nico has cost him one Winner.
Report onlooker April 8, 2021 4:05 PM BST
Sadly losing his sight, quite rapidly.

Would not wish that upon anybody ... especially someone who has been so active and involved.
Report impossible123 April 8, 2021 4:24 PM BST
Spend more time training horses and lesser time talking about them and on a bookie.
Report Trusty April 8, 2021 4:52 PM BST
I think Stornitum is right; head lad retired and for top yards they are the defacto trainer.
Report Pilsudski April 8, 2021 5:31 PM BST
Lost the plot.
Report Cash Is King April 8, 2021 5:47 PM BST
It was sad to see how David Gandolfo ended up.  No chance of Henderson following suit but he's a creature of habit and needs to be prepared to embrace change or give the game up and enjoy a well earned retirement.
Report CROPSICK April 8, 2021 6:03 PM BST
also lost assistant trainers
Report CROPSICK April 8, 2021 6:10 PM BST
His horses are overbet on the comments he makes about them, 'exciting', 'could be anything', 'shows so much speed' all these and more are his regular comments
on nearly all his horses.
He does have a good one running tomorrow though in Dusart although how good remains to be seen
Report Cash Is King April 9, 2021 9:46 AM BST
He should have a better day today.
Report punts April 9, 2021 9:49 AM BST
He is still a good trainer who is worth following. His strike rate and stats are really good
Report Platini April 9, 2021 10:01 AM BST
Wanna lay me 1/3 Shishkin ? Wink
Report strontium April 9, 2021 11:59 AM BST
Crop, there is no point listening to what Nicky says about his horses. He takes an idealised view of them, especially the "stars". For example, his comments about Buveur d'Air's jumping after his comeback at Haydock, and everything he's said about Altior for the last 2 years...
Report Newmarket-spurs April 9, 2021 4:54 PM BST
One winner today at 11/8 and that was possibly lucky. All the others massively underperformed and Dusart not the superstar Henderson makes out. Something is def. up.
I agree with some comment below. He has lost his head lad and assistant trainers + is losing his sight. All this cant help.
Report Billy Liddell April 9, 2021 5:04 PM BST
Just hasn't got many special horses, Nichols is the same. It is The Irish turn for a good few years.
Report HistoricWarwick April 10, 2021 6:49 PM BST
His two runners in the Aintree bumper ran like they had been got at.  Who has replaced Corky?
Report CROPSICK April 10, 2021 6:50 PM BST
Corky the clown!
Report workrider April 10, 2021 6:53 PM BST
I think he was more dependent on Corky than people realised ..
Report HistoricWarwick April 10, 2021 6:57 PM BST
Agreed - I wonder if he has been replaced by Berry Bros & Rudd....
Report punts April 10, 2021 7:04 PM BST
He is still one of the top trainers in the country.

Just because he's not winning at the big meetings etc. means little

Hs strike rate and record is impressive at a number of courses..

Worth following, though not until November now!
Report HistoricWarwick April 11, 2021 12:58 AM BST
No thanks - if you put a pound on every one of his horses you would lose more than most top stables. His stable is inconsistent and something doesn’t stack up.
Report Newmarket-spurs April 11, 2021 1:28 AM BST
HistoricWarwick - something is def up. Since Jan his strike rate is down to about 10% (for this calendar year) and a lot of horses are running way under par and being pulled up. Even Shiskin looked off yesterday. Every stable has a lean patch but not for 4 months.....Look at how his horses ran yesterday....
Report impossible123 April 11, 2021 9:45 AM BST
But for his 2m juvenile 2m chasers he'd be way down the trainers' table, I think. He just talks too much something not reciprocated on the tracks by his charges. Some of the placements of his charges bewildered even his most ardent supporters.
Report CROPSICK April 11, 2021 10:50 AM BST
Definitly right there Impossible, couldnt believe when he ran Buzz at Ascot and he hosed up for £11000, then  subsequently ran in the Betfair h'cap 29 days later at the same track, a £56000 race to the winner finishing  2nd beat 1 1/2 length with 11LBs more on his back.
Report strontium April 11, 2021 11:46 AM BST
And when he got Whisper beat in the Hennessey by getting him a 4 lb penalty for winning a 2-runner race.

Still, it seems wrong to criticise Hendo for running his horses too often when the problem is the opposite. Altior has been more of a museum piece than a racehorse for the last couple of years.
Report workrider April 11, 2021 11:50 AM BST
What would worry me more about Chemical's is the amount of injuries they seem to pick up year after year...
Report strontium April 11, 2021 11:59 AM BST
He trains them hard and for speed, so they do well in bumpers/novice hurdles, but often don't train on, and it is why he does wprse than he should in staying chases. I used to think the same about Mullins, be he has learned/adapted his methods. Still, in all fairness to NH he is over 70 and has been a leading trainer for well over 30 years, for which he deserves great credit.
Report Newmarket-spurs April 11, 2021 1:19 PM BST
Strontium - dont get me wrong Henderson is my fav NH trainer and he has to be up there with the best of all time. Its just concerning how poorly his horses are running for such a long time. At Cheltenham where he has been supreme for many a year he was possibly lucky to have two winners. Shiskins main opposition pulled out & Chantry House was lucky that the 2/5 fav fell. Most of his Cheltenham runners ran like 100/1 donkeys.... its one thing not winning but the horse still running close to form its another when they are being beaten by 50l or pulled up. Something is wrong.
Report punts April 11, 2021 1:21 PM BST
Newmarket: I did not know about Nicky's sight. He might pack it in soon, who knows?

Stoute is also getting on. Gosden is looking to retire soon too. We're going to lose some very good trainers
Report glow -worm April 11, 2021 1:36 PM BST
here one owner in the famous green colours ready to pull his string out the stable for next season
Report Newmarket-spurs April 11, 2021 1:40 PM BST
Punts - Its a shame if he does retire as he is a true legend of the game. As for Gosden & Stoute its to their credit that they have stayed at the top for so long & Gosdens best years have been in the last 5 which is even more amazing. I guess having real superstar horses in the stable keeps them young/motivated but equally would I suspect delay any retirement.
Report hulk23 April 11, 2021 1:50 PM BST
on Nicky here, for the Queen Wink
Report hulk23 April 11, 2021 1:57 PM BST
gets the plaice money, looked very unlikely Silly
Report strontium April 11, 2021 2:19 PM BST
Newmarket, I think that to win at the highest level of sport there are so many things that need to be done with excellence. When England won the rugby world cup and Sky won the Tour de France, they talked about doing 100 things 1% better. Nicky has lost his assistant trainers and his long-term head lad. He's losing his sight. I don't want to attack de Boinville, but there are better jockeys out there, and he's definitely not as good as AP and Geraghty were. Nicky's established star horses (Altior, Buveur d'Air) are getting old, or didn;t cut it at the top level (Santini, Champ). He's got fewer stars than he has had for a long time (maybe only Shiskin now), and I think racing ygards and horses thrive on confidence.  That's a lot of little things to add together all at once.

I do find it astonishing that he didn't have a single novice hurdler to run at Cheltenham.

All that said, it's interesting that JP continues to send his biggest value purchases to Nicky - I doubt that would happen if Nicky had "gone".
Report Newmarket-spurs April 11, 2021 2:49 PM BST
Strontium - you make some excellent points, especially about doing a 100 things 1% better. I read something similar about the UK cycling team. I didn't say that Nicky has 'gone' but clearly this calendar year something isn't right. Whether he comes back then time will tell.
IMO De Bonville is completely out of his depth and he is a negative 5% to his horses running. Barry G was brilliant and very tactically astute (bit like the Frankie of NH)

Anyhow lets see what happens.
Report isleham April 11, 2021 11:26 PM BST
JP would appear to be incredibly loyal to all his employees so would take an enormous and long term decline before he deserted Nicky
Report lead on April 12, 2021 7:10 AM BST
Well,I'd reckon if the Irish trainers are having an "unfair advantage" then JP will know all about it and make sure Nicky's kept in the loop...of course Nicky wouldn't want anything to do with that sort of thing..#binocular#Martinstownholidays#Chemical Nicky
Report strontium April 12, 2021 9:50 AM BST
Isleham - there's a big difference between "remaining loyal" and sending him horses like Jonbon that cost £570,000 (when he has, literally, dozens of trainers to choose from, including WPM and Elliott).
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