Nicky Henderson hopes he has “tidied up” Jenkins’ jumping as the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite takes the next step on the road towards Cheltenham at Kempton.
A talented bumper performer and only narrowly beaten in a valuable race at the Punchestown Festival, he made a winning debut over hurdles at Newbury last month.
However, that does not tell half the story as he kicked several hurdles out of the ground, with Barry Geraghty only looking comfortable when he was approaching the second-last.
There is no doubt he possesses a huge engine, and it could be telling that Henderson is running him in a race he has won three times in the previous five years, most recently with subsequent Supreme hero Altior.
He faces seven rivals, three of which with winning form over timber, in the 32Red-sponsored novice hurdle over two miles.
“He’s a much more laid-back sort of horse now, not that he was bad last season, but he’s relaxing nowadays and is an overall sensible person,” Henderson told Stan James.
“His jumping was pretty sloppy at Newbury but we’ve had him tidied up and done plenty of schooling with him since then.
“I like Kempton, I like the track and I like the ground, but it’s still a good race. While we won this race with Altior last year, he was a lot more experienced than Jenkins is now and we’re still on a learning curve with this one.
“But, he has a lot of scope and I’m more than hopeful that he can go very well as he has got the right profile for a race like this – but he does have to go and do it.”
Alan King takes him on with Elgin, owned by Elite Racing Club and an impressive winner at Newcastle when last in action.
“While Jenkins looks top class, by taking him on we’ll find out just how good our fellow is,” the Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co.uk.
“He won well on his hurdling debut at Newcastle last month and he might be even better going right-handed.
“I’ve also been very happy with his work since Newcastle.”