Champion trainer Nicky Henderson sends a strong trio to Musselburgh on Sunday as crunch time looms for some of his Cheltenham big guns.
Grade One winner We Have A Dream faces five rivals in the Bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial, smart bumper horse Claimantakinforgan goes in the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial, with Mr Whipped in the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial.
With Buveur D’Air in action at Sandown and possibly Altior and Might Bite heading to Newbury next weekend, it is a crucial few days for the Seven Barrows team.
“We’ve always liked him and if I had to declare today for a race at Cheltenham it would be in the Triumph as I’m quite keen to keep my horses to their own age group/division,” said Henderson of We Have A Dream.
“He’s done nothing wrong in all his starts for me and was impressive in the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow last time and this race has always been the next objective.”
Claimantakinforgan is two out of two over hurdles and is currently the shortest-priced British-trained runner in the Supreme next month.
“He’s had a nice break since Ascot and I’ve been very happy with him since. His bumper form was excellent and I’ve always anticipated that he’d be one of our top novices this season, and so far he’s proved that,” Henderson told his Unibet blog.
“He could go to the very top.”
Mr Whipped was a Grade Two winner at Warwick last time out but in Present Man, Ravenhill Road and Red River, he faces useful rivals.
“He has a lot to learn and is still very green but this trip is right for him as is the ground and despite his greenness I was still pleased with the way he knuckled down at Warwick last month.
“Put it this way, we will all learn quite a lot more about Cheltenham in the one hour 10 minutes when these three run!”
Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air faces just two rivals and one of those a huge outsider with little chance.
“There’s not really much I can say that you don’t already know and it’s fair to say this race has more than cut up, with just two opponents. That said, John Constable is no slouch and is a decent competitor,” said Henderson.
“He needs a race and his work has been great so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t enhance his Champion Hurdle claims further.”
Terrefort represents the yard in the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, also at Sandown.
“He had shown me absolutely nothing before Huntingdon therefore it was quite a surprise the way he won and when he arrived at Seven Barrows if you’d have said to me he’d be contesting a Grade One, let alone winning one, I’d be sending you to a psychiatrist!” said Henderson
“I have to admit I’ll be absolutely staggered if he’s good enough to win this, certainly on what I’ve seen at home anyway. We can always go back over hurdles if we need to.”