Hennessy Gold Cup Betting Tips 2016

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A potent force over the larger obstacles Un Temps Pour Tout has a strong chance in the Hennessy writes the Oddsguru

Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (Handicap) 3m2f Newbury Saturday – First run in 1957, the race has been won by some of the greats of the Winter Game, including Arkle, (twice) Burrough Hill Lad, and more recently Denman, (twice). With eight individual Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, and many more outstanding chasers, on the roll of honour, it is advisable to look for a young horse, on the upgrade, who has performed at a high class level in its first season over fences.

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The great Arkle claimed two Hennessys: in 1964 and again in 1965.

Older animals have a particularly poor record in the race, and we have to go back to 1981 to find a winner older than nine. (Doesn’t bode well for 10yo Double Ross). With three winners apiece, training honours are shared by Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls and both are again represented by highly creditable candidates. A man who has never won the race, but did train last year’s runner up, Theatre Guide, is the amazing Colin Tizzard and his upwardly mobile 6yo, Native River heads the market.

A thoroughly genuine type, as his record of six wins and six places from his fifteen starts bears eloquent testament to, he ran his usual solid race on his reappearance in a 3m Wetherby Hurdle four weeks ago. Having his first run for nearly seven months he stayed on strongly to finish 2 3/4L second to Silsol, with the very useful Lil Rockerfeller 1/2L back in third. Second in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he won the 25f Grade1 Novices Chase at Aintree 24 days later under a great ride from Richard Johnson. He won by 3L and 3 3/4L from Henri Parry Morgan and Blaklion, and with the same man doing the steering on Saturday, the Tizzard horse looks a worthy favourite. A definite reservation would be heavy ground as he had no answer to Blaklion in those conditions at Wetherby in February.

The latter’s trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies, I’m sure would be more than happy to see the heavens open, as his Cheltenham RSA winner handles heavy conditions better than most. Not that the talented 7yo needs such conditions as we saw in that epic performance at the festival, when he outbattled Shaneshill on good ground. Blaklion made a perfectly satisfactory reappearance in the “Charlie Hall” four weeks ago, finishing 4th, and while he does seem to have some leeway to make up with Native River on Aintree form, I suspect that the Twiston-Davies horse found that race coming too soon after his Cheltenham exertions. Given soft ground I can see This relentless galloper making a big impression.

The Paul Nicholls trained 7yo Saphir Du Rheu was sent off favourite for last years renewal, racing off a mark of 163, but didn’t seem to quite get home, and finished 5th, beaten 22L. It was a similar story for the rest of the season, seeming to struggle in the closing stages of his races, but there were signs of a revival at Ascot last time on his reappearance after a five months break. At the Berkshire venue, four weeks ago, he responded well to pressure from three out, and staying on strongly, nearly snatched second on the line in what was a strongly run race. If his problems are indeed behind him, he looks nicely treated on a mark 9lbs lower than last year, and could provide the Ditcheat handler with a fourth success.

Smad Place put up a sparkling performance last year, when, jumping like a stag, he came home 12L clear of his field off a mark of 155 to leave Oddsguru readers celebrating.

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Could the galloping grey stage a repeat of last year’s success?

Taking it up at the 10th fence, he was never headed afterwards, and went into many notebooks as a Gold Cup possible. However, after coming home in front, in what was a real slog in the Cheltenham mud in January, he disappointed in the Gold Cup, and may well have been feeling the effects of that attritional January contest. Retired for the season he made a satisfactory reappearance at Aintree 34days ago, finishing 4th, over an inadequate 20f. As the great Arkle, over fifty years ago, was the last horse to win back to back Hennessys, Smad Place with top weight,  clearly has his work cut out on Saturday, but it’s just possible that we have yet to see the best of Alan King’s charge, and it would be great to see the galloping grey do a repeat.

The prize has gone back to the Nicolashane yard on four occasions, (three for Martin and one for David) and there must be plenty of optimism down Somerset way that the talented 7yo, Un Temps Pour Tout can bring home a fifth. A top class staying hurdler in France, winner of a Grade1 3m1 1/2f contest on very soft at Auteil in June 2015, he showed that he was going to be an equally potent force over the larger obstacles, when winning easily at the Cheltenham Festival, off a mark of 148, on only his fourth run over fences. He had the very useful Holywell 7L back in second,and the Young Master a further 9L back in third in the twenty three runner contest. He was found to be lame behind, when finishing 4th in Native River’s Aintree race three weeks later, but demonstrated his wellbeing when taking an Aintree Hurdle on his reappearance twenty one days ago. This very progressive animal handles any ground and is particularly well suited by soft so has to be on the shortlist to give the Pipe yard a fifth success.

Peter Bowen’s 8yo, Henri Parry Morgan was a useful staying hurdler, achieving a rating of 129, but has really come into his own since tackling the larger obstacles, and is now rated 150 in that discipline. Mind you, both initial attempts over fences were less than promising, finishing last at Bangor, and unseating over course and distance last December. However next time, equipped with a tongue tie, he showed what he could do, storming home from the subsequent winner, Bear Rails in a Chepstow Class 3 handicap. Raised 13lbs for a Uttoxeter Class2 three weeks later, he repeated the dose, coming home 15L clear of Delgany Demon. Upped to Grade1 level, in Native River’s Aintree race he was beaten 3L but reopposes on 5lbs better terms at the weekend. Having travelled well, he unseated at the 19th when favourite for the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April and was put away for the season. This 8yo is bred to stay “forever”(by Brian Boru, out of an Over the River mare) so if conditions are testing on Saturday, would be worth considering.

Selection: Un Temps Pour Tout.
E.W.       : Blaklion.

Irish Cavalier the value in bet365 Charlie Hall Chase

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Irish Cavalier looks the value in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase by Oddsguru
– Since its inception in 1969, The Charlie Hall Chase boasts an impressive roll of honour which includes four individual Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Captain Christie, Burrough Hill Lad, Forgive ‘n Forget, and See More Business, (twice). The latter in 2000 was the last of this elite band, and sad to say, with the withdrawal of the 2015 Gold Cup winner, Coneygree, from Saturday’s contest, the score must remain at four. With the benefit of their new state of the art, all weather gallop, the Bradstocks were hopeful of getting their Cheltenham hero, who was the first novice since Captain Christy in 1974 to win The Gold Cup, to the start, but the dry Autumn has defeated them and we must wait until Haydock in three weeks time to see the exciting Coneygree’s return to action.

The wonderful Cue Card had gone nearly two years without hitting the back of the net when coming home in front in last year’s renewal, comfortably beating Dynaste. He then went on to record three Grade1 victories and as a result will be carrying the maximum 10lbs penalty on Saturday, leaving him with rather more to do than last year, when un-penalised, he had only 11st in the plate. Carrying the maximum penalty has been a definite negative, with only two managing to do so in the last decade, and indeed last year, of the three carrying the maximum  impost, the best any of them could manage was 4th place. However following that unlucky fall in the Gold Cup, Cue Card was very impressive when beating Don Poli, Djakadam and Dynaste at Aintree, and probably had had enough for the season, when finishing 4th at Punchestown in April. The record of older horses is poor, and 10yo’s are 0 from 15 in the last ten years, and indeed only four have prevailed since 1981. However it will come as no great surprise if Colin Tizzard’s hero defies the stats.

Watch the 2015 Charlie Hall Chase here.

The Rebecca Curtis trained 7yo Irish Cavalier, finished off an otherwise disappointing campaign in great style when taking a highly competitive Punchestown handicap off a mark of 153, last April. Always going well throughout, he took it up after the second last and staying on really well won by 3 3/4L. He has never won beyond 21f but his very talented trainer, whose yard was under a cloud for most of last season, is hopeful that Saturday’s easy 3miles will be within his compass. With the stable in much better form now, plus the evidence of his 5th behind Don Cossack in The Gold Cup, and that strong finish at Punchestown, her optimism may prove well founded. He is the only runner in the field who has had the benefit of a recent run so is well worth considering.

It looks as if Virak will be the sole representative from the three times winning stable of Paul Nicholls and this 7yo will have to have improved a fair bit to figure, but coming from this yard  that is not impossible. A winner of 4 of his 13 chases, including at Grade2 level, he hasn’t scored since April 2015, and having been beaten by an aggregate of nearly 40 lengths in his last three races is hard to recommend.

Second to Cue Card last year, the 10yo Dynaste has been a big disappointment, and hasn’t won since his Grade1 victory at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. However he has had a wind operation over the summer, and if this previously very talented animal turns up on Saturday (also engaged Ascot), would be worth a second look.

Kim Bailey who won this three years ago with the 6yo Henry Topper, runs his Grand National runner up, The Last Samurai. He has had nearly 7 months to recover from his Aintree exertions, and if fit, could have a say on Saturday. As the Bailey team are amongst the winners, and The Last Samurai can go well after a break, the omens look good. He certainly doesn’t need extreme distances to show his best as we saw at Kempton last December when he quickened impressively inside the last furlong to take a 3m Class2 chase, or indeed when winning the 26f Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in March.

The Philip Hobbs trained Menorah won the 2014 renewal, and though now 11, showed there was plenty of life in the old dog yet when winning a Sandown handicap (22 1/2f) off a mark of 165 last April. He was beaten in his next two races both over further than 3m, and the reality is that he barely gets 24f. Indeed his only win from 11 attempts at the distance was when he won that 2014 renewal, and it’s not impossible, that back on this easy three miles, this grand type could repeat the dose on Saturday.

The second Hobbs runner, Sausalito Sunrise went down with all guns blazing in the big (29f) end of season chase at Sandown in April when gallantly failing to give 14lbs and 16lbs to The Young Master and Just a Par off a mark of 159. He is another who can go well after a break, but is probably more effective over further.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies reports last season’s RSA hero Blaklion in fine fettle for his seasonal debut, and granted ground no faster than good is an intended runner. If turning up, this tough and talented 7yo could give the Naunton handler his 5th success in the race. Successful twice at Grade2 level over hurdles, despite a blip in his second chase, the next five outings over the larger obstacles have shown him to be a champion in the making. The scintillating win over Shaneshill and More of That in the RSA at the Festival was particularly  impressive. Already a course and distance winner at Wetherby he may prove too good for the older brigade at the weekend.

Selection: Irish Cavalier

Danger : Blaklion