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|Burton set for Newbury reappearance run|
Nicky Henderson's very talented Burton Port looks set to make a return to the fray after an absence of some 440 days when he runs in the Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday, writes Elliot Slater.
Very lightly raced in recent seasons due to niggling injuries, the Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding remains an exciting prospect with many people feeling that if he still retains all his enthusiasm and ability he could be a force to reckon with in major races both this term and beyond. Last seen in action on Hennessy Gold Cup day last year where he ran in the feature three-and-a-quarter-mile event on what proved to be his one and only start last term, Burton Port put up a tremendous performance in finishing a length-and-a-quarter runner-up to the smart Diamond Harry, the mighty Denman finishing a place behind him in third. Anyone searching for Stan James free bets should remember this.
Henderson's charge looked all set to take in the major three-mile events of last term but was soon found to have a problem and was given the rest of the season off in the hope he would return this term fully fit and completely recovered. It has taken the 'Master of Seven Barrows' plenty of time to satisfy himself that the son of Bob Back is fit enough to make his return to competitive action, but weather permitting all systems are go for Newbury and it will be fascinating to see how Burton Port fares against his outstanding stable companion Lon Run, as well as a host of other smart performers. People with a VC bet will be keeping an eye on this.
Still a 33/1 chance in the ante-post list for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the winner of seven of his 14 career starts is also a likely sort for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree in April, for which he can also be backed at up to 33/1 in places for 'the world's greatest steeplechase'.