Hennessy Gold Cup Betting Tips 2016


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.


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.


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.

Hennessy Gold Cup Tips 3m2f Handicap Chase

I thought last week’s e.w. selection, Definitly Red, ran a great race when finishing second in Haydock’s high class Fixed Brush handicap hurdle. Not only was it his first run in a handicap, but it was also his first outing since March. Destined now for the larger obstacles, he is definitely one to keep on the right side of in novice chases in the coming months. Saturday’s Newbury test is at the other end of the jumping spectrum, and is usually won by an animal either already proven capable of competing at the highest grade or by one that subsequently gets to the top level. Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson share the training honours with three victories apiece and both field strong candidates at the weekend.

The Nicholls runner, the 6yo Saphir Du Rheu, is the apple of his trainer’s eye, and describes him as having the speed of Kauto Star, and the stamina of Denman. Having unseated or fallen in his first two attempts at the larger obstacles at the end of last year, one wouldn’t have expected to find him heading the market for this years Hennessy, but master trainer Nicholls restored confidence by putting him back over hurdles. He won at Cheltenham in January, and came a highly commendable second in the World Hurdle at the Festival. Back over fences he trotted up in the 3m1f Gd1 novices chase at Aintree, jumping fluently and winning by an eased down, fifteen lengths and a head from Carraig Mor and Irish Saint. He reappeared at Carlisle in a three runner affair four weeks ago, and won as a 1/5 favourite should. He has plenty going for him at the weekend but a definite negative is Coneygree’s defection, leaving the Nicholls horse lumbered with top weight. It is a considerably tougher task lumping 11st12lbs, rather than his original 11st3lbs, around Newbury, in what is likely to be testing conditions,in such a competitive heat. Another slight concern would be his lack of experience in large field handicap chases, but ifTwiston-Davies has him where he usually races, just off the leaders, this strong traveller, should avoid any trouble, and despite the weight, must be on the short list.

Nicky Henderson’s 10yo Bobs Worth won the 2012 renewal of this and went on to win the 2013 Gold Cup. He won the Lexus Gold Cup at the end of the same year, but disappointed in his next four runs and failed to hit the back of the net again until scoring in an Aintree hurdle three weeks ago, when beating stable companion Simonsig in an inconclusive affair. The handicapper has certainly cut him plenty of slack as he races on Saturday off a mark 27lbs lower than his career high and indeed is 7lbs lower than for his 2012 win. While there must be serious doubts about how much ability remains, coming from this yard his chance has to be respected.

Neil Mulholland’s 6yo The Young Master looked a very exciting prospect when winning The Badger Ales handicap last November off a mark of 130 in most impressive fashion. While winning totally on merit, he had the race taken off him on the grounds of “not being qualified to run” and had to compete off a new mark 14lbs higher in his next race, a Cl1 handicap at Ascot six weeks later. Despite a tendency to jump left he raced up with the pace all the way and stayed on strongly to beat last years Hennessy second, Houblon Des Obeaux, by 2 1/2L. He ran far too freely in the RSA chase at the festival finishing a well beaten seventh, but made a satisfactory reappearance when finishing second to Saphir Du Rheu at Carlisle three weeks ago. Like the winner he is bound to come on for the race and meeting the Nicholls horse on 12lbs better terms on Saturday, (including Waley-Cohen’s 3lbs claim) this very progressive young chaser looks well handicapped with his nice racing weight of 10st10lbs. With stamina not an issue, (has won a hurdle race over 27f on heavy ground), this strong traveller looks set to run a big race at the weekend.

Philip Hobbs, who won the 2001 renewal with the 7yo What’s Up Boys tries with another of the same age, If In Doubt. He won a competitive handicap at Doncaster off a mark of 139 last January, despite a far from fluent round of jumping, and again clobbered plenty when finishing fifth in the RSA Chase at the Festival 8L behind Don Poli. However he did come up the hill with some gusto and would have got third place in another twenty yards. He was subsequently pulled up in the Irish National and makes his seasonal debut on Saturday. If his jumping errors have been ironed out, and who better than Philip Hobbs to do it? If In Doubt, looks a very well handicapped contender.

Alan King blames the lack of a previous run for Smad Place’s early capitulation in last years renewal. Indeed he feels that the horses entire season was negatively affected. So determined not to make the same mistake again he ran him at Kempton four weeks ago where he looked back to his best, jumping soundly and staying on strongly. Placed in two World Hurdles, Smad Place has a touch of class about him, and it would come as no surprise to see him involved at the business end at the weekend.

Selection: The Young Master.

E.W. : Smad Place.newbury races

Hennessy Gold Cup Betting Tips

Smad Place A Fine Bet For Hennessy

Hennessy Gold Cup Betting Tips

First run in 1957 The Hennessy Gold Cup has been won by some of the great names of national hunt racing including Mandarin, who won the inaugural running, Arkle, Burrough Hill Lad, and more recently Denman who won in 2007 and again in 2009, carrying 11st 12lbs on both occasions.

First run in 1957 The Hennessy Gold Cup has been won by some of the great names of national hunt racing including Mandarin, who won the inaugural running, Arkle, Burrough Hill Lad, and more recently Denman who won in 2007 and again in 2009, carrying 11st 12lbs on both occasions. Run at Newbury over 3ml 2 1/2f, stamina is an absolute prerequisite. Most previous winners have been improving animals, very often second season chasers, who have performed at a high level during their initial year over fences. Big weights have been no bar to success in recent years, with seven of the last ten winners carrying more than 11st, and both Trabolgan and Denman winning with the steadier of 11st 12lbs on their back. The R.S.A. Chase at the festival has been a good guide, with six of the last ten winners having contested it. Irish trained winners are a rarity, Bright Highway being the most recent in 1980. Willie Mullins’s Be My Royal was first past the post in 2002 but was subsequently disqualified.

Alan King entertains high hopes for his tough and classy 7yo Smad Place. He ran a great race in the R.S.A. At the festival only giving best to O’Faolains Boy in literally the last stride of the contest. Winner of two of his four chases, one of them was in glue pot conditions at Newbury in Febuary where he disposed of the useful Sam Winner, so Saturday’s ground won’t be a concern. Having been placed in two World Hurdles he certainly has classy credentials and there is every indication that he will be an even better chaser than hurdler. Definitley one for the short list!

Willie Mullins’s 5yo Djakadam is a fascinating runner. No 5yo has ever won the Hennessy ( only two have tried in the last decade) so can he make it a first? He was travelling as though he might be involved in the finish when coming down at the fourth last in the R.S.A. And if that was the case he looks very well treated on Saturday. He relishes testing conditions and has been backed as if already past the post, but to this observer odds of 4/1 seem decidedly skinny for a horse that has only contested three chases, even though he won two of them. However with Mullins winning all before him and Ruby Walsh in the plate he is very hard to dismiss.

Paul Nicholls’s c.v includes two riding successes ( Broadheath and Playschool ) and two training successes ( Denman twice) in the Hennessy, so he certainly knows what is required. Rocky Creek boasts many of the attributes necessary to improve Paul’s c.v further. He ran a blinder in last years renewal finishing second to Triolo D’Alene on unsuitably fast ground, going down by 2 3/4L. He meets the winner on 5lbs better terms on Saturday and with ground conditions in his favour has every chance of reversing last years placings.

Another who was unsuited by last years fast ground was the sixth home, Houblon des Obeaux . Taken off his feet early on he was the strongest finisher and almost caught Merry King in fifth. He showed his best form before Christmas last year winning twice at Ascot, the second time off a mark of 152, so Saturday’s Mark of 155 looks reasonable. With ground conditions in his favour he is worth considering at his current odds of 33/1.

Oliver Sherwood’s 7yo Many Clouds departed at the fourteenth in the R.S.A but made a very taking reappearance over 2 1/2ml at demanding Carlisle four weeks ago. Jumping like a veteran he made smooth headway to lead three out and when pressed on the testing uphill finish kept on very strongly indeed in the manner of a true stayer. He is raised 7lbs but with Saturday’s distance likely to elicit further improvement he is another to consider.

Selection. Smad Place.

E.W. Many Clouds.