Sir Gino remains unbeaten over the hurdles at Aintree

Sir Gino Grand National 2024

Sir Gino (11-10 Favourite) made it four wins from as many starts over hurdles when coming home the winner under Nico de Boinville for the Grade One Boodles Anniversary 4-Y-O Hurdle at Aintree on Thursday, 11th April.

Having been forced to swerve last month’s Cheltenham Festival when his stable was in the doldrums, the son of It’s Gino made no mistake as he prevailed by three and a quarter lengths from Kargese.

Winning horse racing trainer Nicky Henderson said: “It was a messy sort of a race and they were playing cat and mouse a bit, but on the other hand it was job done. He galloped all the way to the line in what was a messy race as it was stop start, and he was a bit untidy up the straight. I was watching the speed thing and it was varying dramatically as it was slowed down then quickened up. Paul’s (Townend) horse (Kargese) was pulling quite hard, and we got a bit revved up, but he has done what he has had to do.

“He is very, very good, and hopefully he has got a long way to go. Funnily enough I was confident he would pick the filly up. I just got the feeling he was coming there.


“It would have to be the plan to stick to hurdles. We are not going to be discussing that now. I know where one person is meant to be going.

“Constitution Hill is a two-mile hurdler, and this is what he is, so they might get to know each other.

“All of those years I’ve been training there have been plenty of downs before the ups and we all know what it is like. Every trainer in the world knows what it is like as they have been through these sorts of things. Unfortunately, ours became rather more public than necessary because we literally bumped into Cheltenham. You have got him sat at home watching the Triumph Hurdle thinking arrgh.

“Of course, things go through your mind, and we knew what we were walking into. There is a long way to go as one swallow doesn’t make a summer as they say.

“It is a relief to everybody as they have been brilliant, and I’m talking about the people as much as the horses. It has been a long old winter of slaving away in foul weather to get them ready for Cheltenham if you like, and when it doesn’t happen it is horrible for all of us. They have worn this battle well with all of us and thank you goes to them.

“The good thing about bad days is you hope there is going to be some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of the runner-up Kargese (7-4), said: Willie Mullins: “Very good run. The winner is a tremendous horse, and it is great to see Nicky [Henderson]’s horses back in form, and great for Nicky and for Joe and Marie Donnelly (owners).

“She’s probably just her own worst enemy. She has to learn to race – she’s too keen. She’ll mature, I hope, and make it easier for Paul to ride her. She looks a very good filly for next season.

“I think she’ll go to Punchestown – it’s only up the road from us! She won’t need any galloping between now and then, that’s for sure. We’ll freshen her up and go there, all being well.”

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