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Nicky Henderson

Born: 10 December 1950

Nationality: British

First Winner as Trainer: Happy Warrior (1972)

Cheltenham Gold Cup Wins: 1

Notable Horses Trained: See You Then, Remittance Man, Caracciola, Fondmort, Punjabi, Zaynar, Barbers Shop, Binocular, Long Run, Bob's Worth, Sprinter Sacre

Career History

Nicky Henderson is one of the most experienced national hunt trainers in the sport and having been a top handler since the mid 1970's he has been seen in winner's enclosures all round the UK & Ireland.

His father Johnny, who has a race named after him at the Cheltenham Festival and was a member of the Jockey Club, was an integral part of raising enough money to avoid the Prestbury Park site being sold to property developers, so it was no surprise son Nicky would venture into the sport of horse racing.

After having success as an amateur jockey Henderson always saw training as his desired path and after serving an apprenticeship at the legendary Fred Winter's yard he took out a licence in the early 1970s.

Since then he has built up a strong stable at his Seven Barrows base in Lambourn and is regularly seen contesting the top class races against the likes of Paul Nicholls and Jonjo O'Neil.

The Cheltenham Festival has been a happy hunting ground for Henderson and he currently holds the record for the most winners trained at the extravaganza by a current trainer with See You Then still his most successful horse.

After winning the Champion Hurdle in 1985 See You Then not only retained his title a year later, but then created history by notching up his third win in three years in 1987.  The two-mile contest has become one of Henderson's most successful contests as Punjabi's win in 2009 and Binocular's success in 2010 propelled him to the top of the listings for the most trained winners of the race alongside Peter Easterby.

Henderson has occasionally ventured into the flat racing scene and in 2009 he saddled 12-year-old Caracciola to success in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.

After stable jockey Mick Fitzgerald retired from riding in 2008 Henderson was on the lookout for a replacement and he has now been joined by top Irish jockey Barry Geraghty, who immediately made an impact when partnering Punjabi to Champion Hurdle success.

With over 30 winners at the Cheltenham Festival Henderson had still not managed to train the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but in 2011 his dream came true as new kid on the block Long Run ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen quickened past Gold Cup greats Kauto Star and Denman amidst jubilant scenes.

Twice a champion trainer, Henderson still sits at the top of the national hunt scene and with top horses still in the yard, he certainly will be there for many years to come.

Other Leading National Hunt Trainers

Paul Nicholls

Willie Mullins

Jonjo O'Neill

David Pipe

 


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