Nicky Henderson picks next target for top novice Willmount but slams decision to move Tolworth Hurdle to Aintree

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EXCITING hurdler Willmount will head to Newbury next week after Nicky Henderson slammed the decision to move the Tolworth Hurdle.

Hendo’s five-year-old, who is unbeaten in three starts under Rules, will run in an introductory hurdle race next on December 30.

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Willmount will head to Newbury on December 30 nextCredit: Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

That’s because the Grade 1 Tolworth, usually run at Sandown on the first Saturday in January, has been moved to Aintree on Boxing Day.

It will be run under a new name this year as the Formby Novices’ Hurdle.

The old Tolworth was used as a stepping stone to the Cheltenham Festival by Constitution Hill two years ago, and Hendo can’t get his head around the switch.

So he will have to plot a different course with new star Willmount, currently a 12-1 shot for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle just behind his equally promising stablemate Jeriko Du Reponet (8-1).

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Hendo said: “Willmount will go to Newbury because his owner, quite rightly, doesn’t want to go to Aintree on Boxing Day.

“That shows me, and it should show everybody else, how stupid it was to move the Tolworth to Aintree, otherwise Willmount would have run in it.

“He’s been very well since his last run, he is a good horse. We are in a nice position with a lot of smart novices this year.

“We wouldn’t work him and Jeriko Du Reponet together, you would only work two horses together if they compliment each other.

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“So we wouldn’t know where they stand with one another unless they were to meet on the track.”

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