The Hennessy Gold Cup – Race Preview

 The Hennessy Gold Cup is the feature race at Newbury on Saturday, with 17 runners set to go to post for this year’s renewal. The Hennessy is a Grade 3 National Hunt handicap chase race run over 3 miles and 2 furlongs with a total of 21 fences jumped. The race has been won by eight horses who have also recorded victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most recent of these being Bobs Worth, who is set to run on Saturday.

The current ante-post favourite for Saturday’s race is Saphir Du Rheu trained by Paul Nicholls. The six-year-old heads the list of runners and is set to carry top weight after the withdrawal of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree. Saphir Du Rheu failed to complete in two of his novice chases but was successful in the Grade One Mildmay Novices Chase at Aintree earlier this year. A short-priced winner of a minor event at Carlise at the start of the month, Saphir Du Rheu goes into Saturday’s race in good form.

Bobs Worth looked back to his best when defeating Simonsig over hurdles at Aintree earlier this month in what was a prep race for the Hennessy. Winner of the race in 2012, Bobs Worth has not won over fences since successful in the Lexus Chase in 2013. Rated 180 for that Lexus Chase success, Bobs Worth will run off a mark of just 162 on Saturday and if retaining some of his old chasing ability he could well be involved in the finish.

Smad Place made a winning seasonal reappearance at Kempton in preparation for Saturday’s race and Alan King’s horse also boasts decent form, finishing runner-up to both Many Clouds and O’Faolains Boy. Receiving 8lbs in weight from Saphir Du Rheu, Smad Place looks set to run a decent race on Saturday.

The Young Master comes into Saturday’s race as a bit of a forgotten horse but was in fine form this time last year. Four victories in a row at Worcester, Cheltenham, Wincanton and Ascot saw him rise rapidly in the weights. He placed second behind Saphir Du Rheu at Carlise earlier this month, and he now meets that rival on 9lbs better terms for a seven length defeat, plus the added 3lb claim of booked jockey Sam Whaley-Cohen. With winning form in big field handicap chases,  The Young Master could well belie his current double-figure odds.

Saturdays field is completed by The Druids Nephew, The Giant Bolster, Houblon Des Obeaux, Fox Appeal, Splash of Ginge, If In Doubt, Fingal Bay, Ben Bens, Al Co, Theatre Guide and Irish raiders First Lieutenant and Urano.

Saphir Du Rheu is the current 5 (4/1) ante-post favourite for Saturday’s race with Bobs Worth & Smad Place the joint second-favourites at 7 (6/1). The Young Master is 11 (10/1) and the horse racing tip for Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup is The Young Master each-way.

By: Scott McGlynn

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