- The Nicky Henderson-trained French import easily beat Royal Way 14 lengths
- De Boinville would later suffer a reported dislocated thumb while riding Malystic
- Jockey completed the Kempton course just twice during the two-day meeting
Sir Gino leapt into contention for the JCB Triumph Hurdle as jockey Nico De Boinville endured yet another day of contrasting fortunes at Kempton’s Christmas meeting.
The Nicky Henderson-trained French import easily beat Royal Way 14 lengths despite a sketchy round of jumping, prompting his odds for the Cheltenham Festival juvenile hurdle to be cut to 8-1.
But De Boinville would later suffer a reported dislocated thumb when he had to pull-up Malystic after she made an error jumping the first fence of the Desert Orchid Chase won by Editeur Du Gite.
De Boinville had to give up the winning ride on the Henderson-trained Tweed Skirt with Robbie Dunne substituting.
That meant De Boinville left Kempton’s two-day meeting having had seven rides and only completing the course on Sir Gino and effortless Christmas Hurdle winner Constitution Hill. Four of his mounts were pulled up and he was unseated from Shishkin when the gelding slipped after the second last fence when still in front in the King George VI Chase.
The Nicky Henderson-trained French import, Sir Gino easily beat Royal Way 14 lengths despite a sketchy round of jumping
De Boinville would later suffer a reported dislocated thumb when he had to pull-up Malystic after she made an error jumping
Sir Gino carries the same colours as Shishkin, being owned by Joe and Marie Donnelly. He was running for the first time since he won a Listed hurdle at Auteuil in April.
Henderson said: ‘He can sharpen up a lot as he was a little bit novicey a couple of times. He was either spectacular at them or he kicked the hurdle out. There was no in-between.
‘He is a big horse and he needs to fill into his frame. He does look like a chaser but hurdles are what he will be going over for the time being.
‘He will need to go up in grade now and we can’t pussyfoot around with him. You would have thought that the Triumph Hurdle will be where he goes.’
In contrast to Sir Gino, the jumping of last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Marine Nationale was near to flawless as he made a winning steeplechase debut in the Beginners’ Chase at Leopardstown.
His delighted trainer Barry Connell said: ‘He’ll come back here for the Irish Arkle (in February), then the Arkle (at Cheltenham) and then hopefully on to Punchestown. The script will write itself this year. He’s the horse of a lifetime and I’m just blessed that he came into our yard. They are one in 10,000 these horses.’