Friday, November 27, 2015

Hennessy day 2015

Seventeen declared for this year's Hennessy Gold Cup (Newbury 3.00) which looks a strong renewal on paper; the going on the chase course is described as soft.

Eight of the last ten winners have been aged either six or seven and eight have carried more than 11-0 to victory; two winners have shouldered top weight and a further three 11-6. Current favourite Saphir Du Rheu is the only runner to fit the profile; at around 4/1 he offers little value.

Off a mark of 157 Houblon Des Obeaux was second to Many Clouds last year; this year he goes off 156. On his seasonal reappearance he was well beaten behind Pendra but this test of stamina looks right up his street with underfoot conditions sure to suit.

Neil Mulholland holds a strong hand with The Young Master and The Druids Nephew. Writing in the Weekender, the handler appears to favour the chance of the former whose price has contracted accordingly.  

At 14/1 Houblon Des Obeaux is the each-way selection. 50/1 about Fox Appeal looks big given that one finished well ahead of the selection at Ascot the last day but Emma Lavelle's charge isn't certain to see out this extended three and a quarter mile trip.

Only five in the Long Distance Hurdle (2.25) but it's intriguing.

I like Cole Harden who wears his heart on his sleeve and loves to race from the front; he saved my bacon at Cheltenham in March.

A wind operation contributed to the improvement that day when he had Whisper over ten lengths adrift in fifth. That's only half the story - an error by Nicky Henderson's charge four from home put paid to his chance.

Four weeks later Whisper reversed the form at Aintree; on current ratings Whisper has three pounds in hand.

Several feel that, in receipt of four pounds, Thistlecrack will give the two principals plenty to think about; the layers have priced him accordingly.

The ratings indicate Aqalim has a better chance than Thistlecrack at the weights yet he's priced 11/1 with Coral at the moment. Aqalim had the benefit of a pipe-opener at Wetherby four weeks ago and I note that connections have chosen to fit blinkers for the first time.

It's a longshot but the price is too tempting; I'll chance Aqalim at 11/1.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Several failed to land a blow behind Hennessy winner Smad Place (7/1) who jumped his rivals into the ground, beating Theatre Guide twelve lengths. Selection Houblon Des Obeaux (8/1) was on one of those struggling behind, eventually coming home tailed off in ninth.

Both the principals failed to fire in the Long Distance Hurdle but selection Aqalim was disappointing. He appeared to struggle on the heavy ground and was the first one beaten. Thistlecrack (7/2) was the one to take advantage; the gelding should come on for the run according to trainer Colin Tizzard speaking before the race.