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Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Denman workout pleases Nicholls

Sam Thomas on Denman
Denman's finest hour came at the Cheltenham Festival in March

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman has successfully come through his first major schooling session of the season.

The Paul Nicholls-trained star has been off the course since undergoing treatment for an irregular heartbeat last summer.

But on Wednesday he was reunited with jockey Ruby Walsh who partnered him in an intense workout.

"He did everything right," Nicholls told the Daily Mail. "It's part of his training and quite hard work."

The nine-year-old, who is still the favourite to repeat his Gold Cup success in March, is set to make his return to the racecourse in the Aon Chase at Newbury on 7 February.

Nicholls added: "I wanted to see if we could get him tired, which we didn't.


"He was absolutely perfect, I was pleased with him and Ruby was pleased with him. We couldn't have been happier.

"Now we are all set for Newbury. That will be the acid test. We are happy with him at home, but he has got to perform on the track.

"He is getting close to a run, [but] I wouldn't lose an enormous amount of sleep if I didn't run him before Cheltenham."

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see also
Denman heads Gold Cup entry list
07 Jan 09 |  Horse Racing
Denman lined up for National test
05 Jan 09 |  Horse Racing
Denman may be out until February
08 Oct 08 |  Horse Racing
Denman in clear after heart scare
25 Sep 08 |  Horse Racing
Denman laid low by heart problem
20 Sep 08 |  Horse Racing
Denman storms to Gold Cup victory
14 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
17 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing

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