Brookhouse harbouring Champion aspirations for Sarsons Risk

Ben Brookhouse has full confidence in Sarsons Risk and is already plotting a path to the 2024 Champion Hurdle with his talented son of Caravaggio.

The four-year-old was Newmarket-based Brookhouse’s first winner in the training ranks when bolting up at Doncaster earlier this month and the handler’s belief in his charge was demonstrated by pitching him straight in amongst Grade Two company for the Adonis Hurdle.

Sent off 10-1 at Kempton on Saturday, he was in the process of running a huge race on the front end before taking a crashing fall at the third last.

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However, Brookhouse – who previously served as assistant to Ian Williams – reports Sarsons Risk to have escaped the fall unscathed, with the performance only reinforcing the lofty regard in which he holds the horse.

He said: “Sarsons Risk has been a revelation since having his wind done and my very bold statement is I think he is the best juvenile we have in the UK at the minute.

“He was setting very bold fractions when he came down at Kempton and someone said to me he hit the ground doing around 37 miles per hour.

“If he had fallen at the last there would be a lot of people talking about him, but Robbie (Dunne, jockey) was doing his best to get a breather into the horse and that is the reason he was only a length and a half clear and once he had landed at the back of the third last, he would have skipped clear.

“We know he can sustain a gallop off a strong pace – he showed that at Doncaster – and for me the horse seems to have improved since Doncaster.”

He went on: “In my mind he is probably the best juvenile in the UK and although it would have been nice to get a Grade Two on the board with just my third winner, I’m not massively disappointed.

“I feel sorry for the horse that people didn’t get the chance to see how good he is, because I think he is very special and we will be training him to be something very special.”

Sarsons Risk will now be aimed at the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree on April 13, although Brookhouse is already looking ahead to next season, when he hopes his charge can develop into a Champion Hurdle contender.

“He’ll have a small break now and go home and have some grass and just enjoy himself,” continued the Saville House Stables handler.

“He deserves a bit of time off following the two big efforts he has put in. Then we will probably be going to Aintree with him.

“We did talk about running him on the Flat this summer, but I expect we will see him in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham in October. That will hopefully show his potential to be a Champion Hurdle prospect for next year.

“He resembles a Constitution Hill type of horse in that he can travel at speed and gallop at speed. His jumping wouldn’t be as good as Constitution Hill, but it is only because he is so confident and so slick and so quick. He is still a big baby and his jumping will improve and maybe in a years time we might look back and think the fall is the best thing to happen to him as he won’t want it to happen again.

“I think he’s pretty special and if he was rated 20lb higher on the Flat, I would be considering the Chester Cup. But you only get so many miles after a wind op before it is a case of refreshing and retouching.

“He could be Champion Hurdle quality and my aim for him next year is to go for a Champion Hurdle.”

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