HE was in the last chance saloon.

One more disappointing run and that would be it - such was the future facing Un Beau Roman as he lined up at Plumpton the other day.

Though he had been placed on several occasions, it had been almost four years since the veteran had won a two mile chase at Cheltenham with jockey after jockey reporting the 12-year-old either did not like the ground or the course.

So as a last resort and after a discussion with rider Nick Schofield, Paul Henderson reached for the blinkers - and how it worked. Un Beau Roman jumped off in front and though he made mistakes at the last two fences, he only had to be ridden out to score by a comfortable three lengths.

The Whitsbury trainer explained: "He wouldn't let himself down. He wasn't trying and he wasn't coming in exhausted."

The horse has now earned a reprieve and another two mile chase at Fakenham next week is under consideration. However, if a little more recovery time is needed, then it's back to Plumpton again. 

Henderson has a record of three wins from his last eight runners, principally through Crossley Tender, purchased from the Irish point-to-point scene. 

It was a shrewd move that saw him pick up a hurdle race at Fontwell.

Henderson was anxious to protect the horse's rating over fences after he had won a long distance chase at Newton Abbott.

"He ran with a mark of 101 there and I didn't want run him again over fences with a 7lb penalty, so I ran him over hurdles. I was surprised how well he hurdled. He ballooned the first two as chasers tend to do when they come back to hurdles but then he jumped very well."

The seven-year-old will now be given a rest while Henderson ponders his next move which will possibly mean tackling one of the smaller county nationals at either Exeter or Plumpton.

Crossley Tender, who has had issues with his back which needs to be looked at twice a week, will not be seen lurking at the back of the field wherever he goes.

"We have held him up before but he's a free going sort at home and we feel he is better off keeping himself out of trouble up front."

Henderson had hoped to run his stable star Doitforthevillage at Cheltenham this weekend but he has suffered a small setback.

"He's got a slight niggle. He got cast in his box and banged a leg but he's now back in work."

The eleven-year-old, who has won seven of his 26 races over fences, had been on the sidelines for almost a year through injury before he returned to his favourite track that is Cheltenham but was unplaced in a competitive chase.

"He needed the run," said Henderson. "The ground was too quick for him and the way the race was run, didn't suit him either."