Highland Lodge and Henry Brooke after winning the Becher last year
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Milnes 7:52AM 3 DEC 2016
HENRY BROOKE bids to make a dream return to the big stage on last year’s winner Highland Lodge just four days after returning from the crunching fall that many thought had curtailed his season.
Brooke has made a low-key return around the northern tracks this week after recovering from the punctured lung and broken ribs he suffered at Hexham on October 8 and is hopeful of a follow up on Highland Lodge who sprang a 25-1 surprise when overcoming today’s rival Dare To Endeavour 12 months ago.
Brooke said: “It was always my main intention to come back for this ride and Highland Lodge felt in great order when I sat on him at Jimmy Moffatt’s last week. He enjoys the fences and hopefully he can give me another nice spin.”
If successful, Highland Lodge would be the first back-to-back winner of the race, although two have won it twice, most recently Hello Bud (2010 and 2012), who was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, reliant on Cogry this time around with last week’s Hennessy third Double Ross a late non-runner.
“Cogry has had no luck at all this season and was brought down by another horse last time,” said Twiston-Davies. “He’s schooled well since and has no weight so hopefully he can bounce back.”
The ground is good, good to soft in places (watered) on the Mildmay and good to soft, good in places (watered) on the National and hurdle tracks.