Today there are big National Hunt races at both Newbury and Newcastle and we focus our attention on the former, including the feature Hennessy Gold Cup at 3.10.
Hennessy Gold Cup Chase
First run in 1957, the Hennessy has always been one of the highlights of the jumps’ season and its role of honour matches up to any of the great races that define every national hunt campaign.
Mandarin, Mill House, Arkle, Burrough Hill Lad, One Man and Denman are just some of the past winners and it is a path that has been trodden by many future Gold Cup and Grand National winners.
Colin Tizzard is hoping Native River could develop into a Gold Cup horse and his chances here are obvious, but he has been priced up accordingly and the value may have gone. He was one of the best novice chasers around last year and second season chasers have a great record in this contest.
That means the likes of Blaklion, Vyta Du Roc and Henri Parry Morgan are also worthy of consideration and there is every chance today’s winner will come from this group. Who is the pick? Well for us it probably BLAKLION, who has the heart of a lion and won last year’s RSA Chase. He may have improvement in him as this is his first try at this trip. He probably needed his run at Wetherby on his comeback.
However, VYTA DU ROC looks very well in off a low weight and cannot be ignored. He is still only seven and so still be getting better and is reportedly in rude health at home for an in-form yard.
If there is to be a shock then it could come from Triolo d’Alene or Regal Encore. The more the ground dries out, the better for both of them. The former won this race in 2013 and was also successful first time out last year, so he goes well fresh.
However, REGAL ENCORE is the less exposed. He’s always threatened to be a good horse and his run over fences at Punchestown at the end of last season underlined the fact that he has a big race in him over fences. This staying trip could be the making of him.
|Blaklion (ew)||3.10 Newbury||9/1||Paddy Power|
|Vyta Du Roc (ew)||3.10 Newbury||8/1||Sky Bet|
|Regal Encore (ew)||3.10 Newbury||40/1||Paddy Power|
Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase
There is another big field handicap for the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial, which looks between On Tour, Generous Ransom and In The Rough.
Generous Ransom could well improve for his new yard and looks well treated, but he was slightly disappointing on his comeback.
By contrast, ON TOUR ran a blinder at Aintree three weeks ago and he looks ready for this further step up in distance.
IN THE ROUGH is dropping in trip, which should also suit after he failed to last home over further last time. He travelled noticeably well that day and likes decent ground.
|In The Rough (ew)||1.30 Newbury||8/1||Bet365, Sky Bet|
|On Tour (ew)||1.30 Newbury||9/1||Bet365, Sky Bet|
bet365 Handicap Hurdle
In the bet365 Handicap Hurdle, take a chance on BEAST OF BURDEN, who is back over the smaller obstacles here. He is very well treated on his best form and has a first time tongue tie on today.
This is a meeting that Paul Nicholls targets, so FAVORITO BUCK’S is also worth noting. He was very disappointing after joining the yard from France last season, but is the type to improve after a summer on his back.
|Beast of Burden (ew)||2.05 Newbury||16/1||Bet365|
|Favorito Buck’s (ew)||2.05 Newbury||11/1||Bet365|
bet365 Intermediate Hurdle
TOMMY SILVER has a similar profile and can run a big race in the Gerry Feilden. This doesn’t look a great renewal of this famous race and Who Dares Wins is the danger.
|Tommy Silver (ew)||2.40 Newbury||9/2||Bet365|
At The Races Rehearsal Handicap Chase
Newcastle stages both the Fighting Fifth and the Rehearsal Chase and the best bet in either could be BRISTOL DE MAI – who can hopefully complete a big day for the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard.
|Bristol De Mai (ew)||3.30 Newcastle||5/1||BetVictor|