Une Artiste is fourth victor on incredible day for Nicky Henderson


Nicky Henderson completed an incredible four-timer with Une Artiste in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Simonsig, Bobs Worth and Finian’s Rainbow all won for the Seven Barrows handler before this 40/1 filly bounded up the hill.

David Pipe’s Kazlian opened up a big lead under Tom Scudamore but had a decreasing advantage approaching the final flight with the field coming back to him.

Une Artiste took it up late on under Jeremiah McGrath and eventually won by a-length-and-three quarters from Edeymi.

3/1 favourite Vendor was niggled along some way out but stayed on very well for third with Kazlian hanging on for fourth.

McGrath said: “That’s my first Festival winner and it’s my first ride back here since I had a bad fall in December on my birthday – this more than makes up for it!

“There was probably less pressure on me because the horses are in such great from.

“She’s a really tough filly and we’ve not had her long.

“She won at Haydock on heavy ground and my main worry was whether she would handle better ground. I knew I was getting there a long way out and she won going away.”

Henderson, who was saddling his 44th Festival winner, said: “I think it’s the type of day we will wake up and realise it’s all a dream.

“For everybody here, this is the place to be. It’s only once a year and to have four winners, there is no better feeling.

“This is my first win in this race and it’s very special. My dad (Johnny Henderson, who played a major part in saving the track in the 1960s) and Fred Winter were the two most important people in my life.”

Henderson revealed he was actually wearing his father’s suit as he thought he might break Fulke Walwyn’s record to be crowned leading trainer at the meeting.

Thornton retains every faith in Vendor despite his defeat.

He said: “He was outpaced midway down the back and he was one of the first off the bridle. He stayed on really well but he might need further. There’s a nice race in him.”