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Hennessy Gold Cup - 29th November, 2014

Triolo D'Alene fought off a spirited effort from Rocky Creek in last year's Hennessy Gold Cup and that pair are set to lock horns again in the Newbury showpiece in what will be a sensational renewal on Saturday afternoon, in what will be a real punting head-scratcher.

Willie Mullins's Djakadam has been subject to significant money in the betting offices over the last couple of weeks and the Irish raider, who was a faller in the JLT Novices' Chase, has propelled to the head of the betting and has to be respected from such an in-form stable.

Philip Hobbs's Fingal Bay excelled over hurdles last season and was a fine winner of the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and is he is set to return to fences and is a prominent figure in what is a wide open ante-post betting market.

Many Clouds has been another attracting punters and was a cracking winner of a Listed Carlisle event and could still be on a major upgrade and has to figure in punters' calculations for what should be a cracking showpiece this weekend at Newbury.

Smad Place was a fine second in the RSA Chase and will now step out of the novice division and could shape up into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender, whilst The Druids Nephew ran a stormer behind Sam Winner at Cheltenham's Open meeting and could feature.

Of the others, What A Warrior is in the form of his life and could look to continue on an upward curve and is a leading outsider, whilst the likes of Merry King, Ballynagour and Unioniste add tremendous depth to a sparkling race on Saturday afternoon.

Latest Betting for 2014 Hennessy Gold Cup

9/2 Djakadam

13/2 Smad Place

7/1 Many Clouds

8/1 Fingal Bay

10/1 Rocky Creek

10/1 The Druids Nephew

16/1 Merry King

20/1 Unioniste

20/1 Annacotty

20/1 Ballynagour

20/1 Monbeg Dude

20/1 Wychwoods Brook

20/1 What A Warrior

25/1 Midnight Prayer

25/1 Triolo D'alene

25/1 Via Sundown

25/1 Le Reve

33/1 Vino Griego

33/1 Houblon Des Obeaux

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Hennessy Gold Cup History

The Hennessy Gold Cup is a Grade Three handicap race run over three miles, two-and-a-half furlongs at Newbury for horses aged four years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

Established in 1957, the Hennessy had originally been held at Cheltenham but was transferred to its current location at Newbury in 1960 where it has seen some of the greatest steeplechasers in living memory bag glory before going on to greater things.

In the early years one name that certainly bounces out the page is the mighty, incomparable Arkle, who won the Hennessy Gold Cup in 1964 and 1965 carrying a staggering 12st 7lbs to victory on both occasions.  Tom Dreaper's legend became the highest ever rated chaser by Timeform at 212 and managed to use the Hennessy as a springboard to other glory.

Not only did he win the Irish Grand National and the King George VI Chase during his illustrious career, he also amassed three Cheltenham Gold Cup successes in 1964, 1965 and 1966 to cement his place as one of racing's greats.

Burrough Hill Lad was a gallant winner of the 1984 Hennessy Gold Cup before going on to Cheltenam Gold Cup success a year later, whilst One Man was a two length winner of the 1994 Hennessey before bagging dual King George success in 1995 and 1996 and also Queen Mother Champion Chase glory in 1998.

More recently, Paul Nicholls' Denman became a Hennessy legend by firstly securing his first success in 2007 winning off top weight and then going on to win the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.  He then ventured back to Newbury in 2009 to regain the Hennessy title and defied top weight once again in a magnificent performance which saw him beat stablemate What A Friend by three-and-a-half lengths.

Recent Winners of Hennessy Gold Cup

  • 2000 - King's Road
  • 2001 - What's Up Boys
  • 2002 - Gingembre
  • 2003 - Strong Flow
  • 2004 - Celestial Gold
  • 2005 - Trablogan
  • 2006 - State of Play
  • 2007 - Denman
  • 2008 - Madison Du Berlais
  • 2009 - Denman
  • 2010 - Diamond Harry
  • 2011 - Carruthers
  • 2012 - Bobs Worth
  • 2013 - Triolo D'alene
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