It will be a first public appearance for Denman since his illness. In October it was revealed that the popular ex-racehorse had spent 5 months in equine hospital, battling a “life-threatening” bone and blood infection.
“It is a complete miracle that Denman is able to be at Newbury,” his rider Charlotte Alexander told H&H.
“It will be his first outing since his problems started last April, and I am expecting him to be very much on his toes!
And Sprinter Sacre (pictured below) will also be there — wearing his heart monitor — as he continues his rehabilitation. The Champion Chase winner was pulled up at Kempton in December due to an irregular heartbeat.
“The whole purpose of the exercise is to give him a racecourse outing which doesn’t bring back bad memories of what happened at Kempton,” said trainer Nicky Henderson.
“He’ll be wearing his heart monitor, which he wears constantly anyway, and he will parade around the paddock with Denman. They’ll make a nice double act!
“Hopefully he’ll come back with a bit of a spring in his step.”
Later on, at around 2.15pm, Denman and rider Charlotte Alexander will lead the runners down the track and canter back in front of the stands (pictured top) before the race named in his honour — the Betfair Denman Chase.
“He loved it last year when everyone started clapping and cheering,” added Charlotte.
“This year I hope there will be an enormous cheer for him as he has fought so hard to recover from conditions that most horses would not have come through.
“He is a true legend and there are not many horses as brave and wonderful as he is.”
Denman won the Grade 2 Aon Chase at Newbury in 2008 and the race was named after him in 2012 when Betfair took over sponsorship.
Richard Osgood, clerk of the course at The Racecourse Newbury, added: “It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for racegoers to see 2 of the finest racehorses of the modern era.”
There will also be a competition on the day for 2 people to meet Denman. It will be in the racecard and entrants will have to answer some quiz questions on Denman.
This year’s Denman Chase will be run at 2.25pm and will be shown on Channel 4.