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Nic Ladds 11th Dec 2008 - 12:45

Henderson prepares for International domination

Nicky Henderson will be hoping Binocular can justify 6/4 favouritism in the Boylesports International and enhance his claims further for the Champion Hurdle.

Henderson must be eagerly awaiting Saturday's showpiece as he has two of the top three in the betting in Binocular and 4/1 chance Chomba Womba.

The Boylesports International Hurdle is one of the most valuable hurdle races of the entire season. It is run over 2m1f and often has a large bearing on the Champion Hurdle betting.

This year no fewer than five of the principals for the Champion Hurdle will take their place on Saturday with more hoping to make the frame if they can put in a big run.

All eyes will be on Binocular who is current favourite for both races. Henderson's leading fancy slammed Triumph Hurdle winner Celestial Halo at Aintree and there is a suspicion he really could be something special.

Paul Nicholls' Celestial Halo will attempt to get some revenge as he takes his place in Saturday's line up but the feeling is he will struggle to get the better of Binocular and is available at 14/1.

Amongst the other contenders are last year's Champion Hurdle winner Katchit who is 9/2 for this Saturday's race and would surely be a lot shorter but has not yet managed to win this season although in his previous race he was giving away a lot of weight and didn't have ground to suit.

One horse that has beaten Katchit is Henderson's other entry 4/1 shot Chomba Womba who has won both his starts this season and you can be sure that Saturday big race specialist Henderson will have him ready to go.

Chomba Womba's main target this season is not definite so Henderson will be looking for a big run to further enhance his growing reputation as a serious contender for some of this season's big races.

The other leading fancy in the race is Emma Lavelle's 3/1 hope Crack Away Jack who came into this season with a big reputation following his win in Cheltenham's Fred Winter last season.

He won well on his reappearance before being beaten into second in the Ascot Hurdle behind Chomba Womba. He didn't jump fluently that day and his trainer and backers will be hoping for a much better effort this time out.

An old favourite in the shape of Harchibald makes his seasonal reappearance and at 14/1 it will be interesting how he copes against some of the market leaders as he notoriously finds little off the bridle and may well find a few too good.

Katchit looks certain to be in the frame as he loves Cheltenham having claimed five victories there but conceding weight to Crack Away Jack and Binocular looks a tall order.

Chomba Womba runs off bottom weight and has already beaten Crack Away Jack this season. He will have a tough task against Binocular but looks the bet at 4/1.

This should be a fascinating race and whoever wins will enhance their Champion Hurdle claims greatly so those fancying something to win well on Saturday it would be wise to back them for the Champion Hurdle as the price will inevitably contract after a good run.

Recommendation:
Chomba Womba - 4/1

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