L’Ami Serge out to answer the question of trip
L'Ami Serge's trainer Nicky Henderson is still trying to nail down his best trip
PICTURE: Getty Images L'Ami Serge out to answer question of trip By Mark Scully 7:08AM 15 DEC 2016
NICKY HENDERSON admits he has yet to determine the optimum trip for the returning L'Ami Serge but hopes the Grade 1 place-getter can make a winning seasonal reappearance at Exeter in today's graduation chase over an extended 2m1f.
Last seen finishing second to Arzal in Aintree's Manifesto Novices' Chase in April, L'Ami Serge also claimed third in the JLT Novices' Chase at the previous month's Cheltenham Festival.
He faces only two rivals in this contest and Henderson is keen to get the six-year-old back on the track.
"He's been in good form and sets a good standard," said Henderson. "I'm not sure this is the right way round for him but he doesn't mind the cut in the ground.
"Trip is still the guessy part for him. He's always looked as if he might get two and a half and then you go there and he suggests he's not getting it. However, he looks great and we're looking forward to getting him out."
Providing good competition for L'Ami Serge will be Paul Nicholls' Le Prezien, winner of the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial at Cheltenham last month.
The champion trainer is realistic about the task facing Le Prezien, with L'Ami Serge officially rated 7lb his superior, but suggested the benefit of a run could make the difference.
"We'll have to improve a bit to beat L'Ami Serge but I suppose we've had a run and he's not," he said. "I suspect he'll be in good form fresh though and he's is clearly the one to beat."