Omessa heads to Gerry Feilden

Sunday's events were near to Nicky Henderson's heart as he announced plans for Newbury's forthcoming bet365 Festival.

Daryl Jacob on Omessa Has after working at Newbury

Hours after retiring Sprinter Sacre on Sunday, Henderson had to content with the loss of Simonsig who was put down after breaking a leg in the Shloer Chase.

The experienced Lambourn handler admitted that it was a day he would never be able to forget but his last thought as he left Cheltenham was for Triolo d'Alene who would be waiting for Simonsig to return to the yard.

"Simonsig and Triolo lived together," he explained.

"They shared a box and have been together for years, all summer, every day they go out in a field together.

"Triolo worked well this morning so maybe he's got over it too. I'm probably being stupidly sentimental but honestly those two horses were quite extraordinary together; you can't help feeling it would affect him."

It wasn't just his equine companion that was in Henderson's thoughts but also his lad, Dave Fehily.

"It gives you a great big shudder but everyone's been brilliant. Dave Fehily who looks after Simonsig, he's looked after him and ridden him for years and they're the guys you really do feel for quite enormously.

"We all adored the horse himself but Dave looks after three and he wasn't the easiest. When you've spent three years trying to get him back like that and it wasn't fair on Dave or the horse or Ronnie Bartlett."

Henderson has been heartened by the response of those at the yard and in the wider world and he was quick to praise Barney Clifford after taking a call from Kempton's clerk of the course during a media day promoting the bet365 Festival at Newbury.

Entries for the King George VI Chase at Kempton closed just last week and Clifford was calling to inform Henderson that the course would be returning the not insignificant entry fee to connections of Simonsig and also Vautour and Avant Tout who also lost their lives last week.

Henderson will be able to thank Clifford in person on Monday where he intends to run last season's Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Altior.

He revealed that he would have liked to have run the six-year-old at Newbury but couldn't find a suitable race. If his chase debut 'did happen to go well', Altior will head to Sandown for the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, a race which 'hopefully is within his profile'.

One horse that Henderson will be taking to Newbury is Omess Has and he's looking forward to seeing the French import in action.

"The plan would be the Gerry Feilden," he continued. "It's a nice race, it's for last season's novices that are coming through.

"You always want a progressive horse. I think she's a nice filly , she's got some good form in France but she came to us late in the year and it was difficult to get a hang on her to be honest with you. She had one run and her breathing wasn't as good as it should have been and she had various issues.

"We've started afresh and I think we're in a better place."

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