All systems go for Avant Tout as 58 entries revealed today for the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury
Coneygree is the star name among 58 terrific entries for the £200,000 Grade Three Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on the second and final day of the bet365 Festival, Saturday, November 26.
Staged over three and a quarter miles, the Hennessy Gold Cup is the richest handicap chase run in Britain this season before the Grand National (April) and is supported for the 60th time by Hennessy, making it the longest commercial sponsorship in racing.
Coneygree (Mark Bradstock, 16/1 with bet365), winner of the G1 Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2015, was a leading contender for the Hennessy Gold Cup last year until being ruled out the week before with an injury.
The exciting nine-year-old won twice over fences at Newbury during his Gold Cup season, including a fine display in the G2 Betfair Denman Chase.
Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins is likely to be represented by improving chaser Avant Tout (10/1 favourite with bet365). Mullins was first past the post with Be My Royal in the 2002 Hennessy Gold Cup, only for the horse to be disqualified in controversial circumstances after testing positive for a banned substance.
Racing in the colours of the Supreme Horse Racing Club, Avant Tout won three of his five starts over fences last season
The six-year-old had brushed aside subsequent Galway Plate victor Lord Scoundrel in a three-mile G2 novices’ chase at Limerick on April 3 and then put up a fine weight carrying performance in a hotly-contested novices’ handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival later the same month.
Steve Massey, racing manager for the Supreme Horse Racing Club, revealed: “Avant Tout is in very good order and it is all systems go for Newbury.
“We think he will have a prep run at Naas on November 6 and then he will go straight there.
“There was not much for him in between Punchestown and Galway so we decided to give him a break and focus on Newbury, especially as we feel he is more of a three-mile plus horse. We don’t think the trip will be a problem – he just stays and stays.
“It is absolutely massive to have a leading contender for a race like the Hennessy. There are 12 people with shares in Avant Tout and they are all very excited.
“Avant Tout was quite pricey as we bought him from France after he won first time out, but we always thought he was going to make a chaser.
“He is only six and usually is a very good jumper. His form looks pretty good now as he beat Lord Scoundrel eight lengths (into fifth) at Punchestown, whilst giving him 7lb, and Lord Scoundrel went on to win the Galway Plate.
“We think Avant Tout is an exciting prospect and we will certainly know where we stand after Newbury.”
There are eight Irish-trained entries in total for the 2016 Hennessy Gold Cup, with the rest split between Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade. Elliott has second-season chasers Outlander (16/1) and Roi Des Francs (40/1) among a five-strong team, while Meade has put in Wounded Warrior (40/1) and Monksland (33/1).
Second-season chasers have a good record in the Hennessy Gold Cup and others who fall into that bracket include RSA Chase victor Blaklion (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 16/1) and Native River (Colin Tizzard, 11/1), who defeated Henri Parry Morgan (Peter Bowen, 16/1) in the G1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April.
Champion British Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has eight entries to choose from as he bids for a fourth victory in the race. They include Silviniaco Conti (25/1), Scottish Grand National hero Vicente (25/1), last year’s beaten favourite Saphir Du Rheu (25/1) and Virak (25/1).
Smad Place (Alan King, 16/1, pictured) was an emphatic 12-length winner last year of the Hennessy Gold Cup and could bid to join an illustrious list of dual winners. Only three horses – Mandarin, Arkle and Denman – have won two Hennessy Gold Cups.
Other eye-catching entries include Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri (Kim Bailey, 16/1), Sausalito Sunrise (Philip Hobbs, 20/1) and Seeyouatmidnight (Sandy Thomson, 25/1).
Pat Cooney, Racing PRO for bet365, commented: “It looks a typically wide open Hennessy Gold Cup, but we’ve opted to make Avant Tout our 10/1 favourite. He impressed when winning at Punchestown in April, and his trainer Willie Mullins suggested the Hennessy may be his target after the race.
“He also fits the popular theory of second-season chasers being the right type for this race. However, the 2016 Hennessy looks a wide-open race and is always a high-profile betting event in the calendar.”
bet365 odds Hennessy Gold Cup – 10 Avant Tout, 11 Native River, 16 Henri Parry Morgan, 16 Coneygree, 16 Outlander, 16 O’Faolains Boy, 16 Empire of Dirt, 16 The Last Samuri, 16 Smad Place, 16 Blaklion, 20 Sausalito Sunrise, 20 Un Temps Pour Tout, 25 Virak, 25 Seeyouatmidnight, 25 Third Intention, 25 Saphir du Rheu, 25 Bishops Road, 25 Vicente, 25 Holywell, 25 Silviniaco Conti, 33 Vivaldi Collonges, 33 Drumacoo, 33 Wakanda, 33 Southfield Theatre, 33 Triolo d’Alene, 33 Irish Cavalier, 33 Hadrian’s Approach, 33 Monksland, 33 Vyta du Roc, 33 Le Mercurey, 33 Coologue, 33 Onenightinvienna, 40 Oscar Rock, 40 Aubusson, 40 Houblon des Obeaux, 40 Regal Encore, 40 Roi des Francs, 40 Another Hero, 40 Wounded Warrior, 40 Le Reve, 40 Out Sam, 50 Local Show, 50 Wrath of Titans, 50 Milansbar, 50 Javert, 50 Otago Trail, 50 Theatre Guide, 50 Knock House, 50 Double Ross, 50 Midnight Prayer,50 Carole’s Destrier, 50 Upswing, 50 Thomas Brown, 50 Killer Crow, 50 Irish Saint, 66 Potters Cross, 66 Seventh Sky, 66 Un Ace.
Weights for the Hennessy Gold Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, November 9.
The new-look two-day bet365 Festival commences on Friday, November 25.
The Hennessy Gold Cup
Grade 3 Handicap Chase, £200,000 total prize fund. Newbury, Saturday, November 26. Three miles & two furlongs (3m 1f 214y). For four-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after November 6, a winner of a chase 4lb; a winner of two chases 7lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 25, entries revealed October 26 (58 entries). Weights revealed November 9. Scratchings deadline November 15, five-day confirmation stage November 21, final declarations November 24. Maximum field 24 plus 2 reserves.
|ANOTHER HERO (IRE)||7||J P McManus||Jonjo O’Neill|
|AUBUSSON (FR)||7||Jane Williams||Nick Williams|
|AVANT TOUT (FR)||6||Supreme Horse Racing Club/Brett Graham||Willie Mullins IRE|
|BISHOPS ROAD (IRE)||8||Alan Halsall||Kerry Lee|
|BLAKLION||7||Sarah Such & C G Paletta||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|CAROLE’S DESTRIER||8||Mrs C Skipworth||Neil Mulholland|
|CONEYGREE||9||The Max Partnership||Mark Bradstock|
|COOLOGUE (IRE)||7||The New Club Partnership||Charlie Longsdon|
|DOUBLE ROSS (IRE)||10||Options O Syndicate||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|DRUMACOO (IRE)||7||Mrs Robin Birley||Ben Pauling|
|EMPIRE OF DIRT (IRE)||9||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|HADRIAN’S APPROACH (IRE)||9||Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes||Nicky Henderson|
|HENRI PARRY MORGAN||8||Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan||Peter Bowen|
|HOLYWELL (IRE)||9||Gay Smith||Jonjo O’Neill|
|HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)||9||Mrs Julian Blackwell||Venetia Williams|
|IRISH CAVALIER (IRE)||7||A McIver||Rebecca Curtis|
|IRISH SAINT (FR)||7||Mrs Johnny de la Hey||Paul Nicholls|
|JAVERT (IRE)||7||Axom LII||Emma Lavelle|
|KILLER CROW (IRE)||7||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)||7||Tim Leslie||Donald McCain|
|LE MERCUREY (FR)||6||Chris Giles & Colm Donlon||Paul Nicholls|
|LE REVE (IRE)||8||P H Betts||Lucy Wadham|
|LOCAL SHOW (IRE)||8||Nicholas Piper & Claire E Piper||Ben Pauling|
|MIDNIGHT PRAYER||11||The Legends Partnership||Alan King|
|MILANSBAR (IRE)||9||Robert Bothway||Neil King|
|MONKSLAND (IRE)||9||Patricia Hunt||Noel Meade IRE|
|NATIVE RIVER (IRE)||6||Brocade Racing||Colin Tizzard|
|O’FAOLAINS BOY (IRE)||9||Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill||Rebecca Curtis|
|ONENIGHTINVIENNA (IRE)||7||Judith Luff||Philip Hobbs|
|OSCAR ROCK (IRE)||8||Mr & Mrs G Calder||Malcolm Jefferson|
|OTAGO TRAIL (IRE)||8||Marie Shone||Venetia Williams|
|OUT SAM||7||Swanee River Partnership||Warren Greatrex|
|OUTLANDER (IRE)||8||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|POTTERS CROSS||9||Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman||Rebecca Curtis|
|REGAL ENCORE (IRE)||8||John P McManus||Anthony Honeyball|
|ROI DES FRANCS (FR)||7||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)||7||The Stewart Family||Paul Nicholls|
|SAUSALITO SUNRISE (IRE)||8||Diana Whateley||Philip Hobbs|
|SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT||8||Mrs A M Thomson||Sandy Thomson|
|SEVENTH SKY (GER)||9||Exors of the Late John Heron||Charlie Mann|
|SILVINIACO CONTI (FR)||10||Chris Giles & Potensis Bloodstock Ltd||Paul Nicholls|
|SMAD PLACE (FR)||9||Trish Andrews||Alan King|
|SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (IRE)||8||Angela Yeoman||Paul Nicholls|
|THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)||8||Paul & Clare Rooney||Kim Bailey|
|THEATRE GUIDE (IRE)||9||Jean Bishop||Colin Tizzard|
|THIRD INTENTION (IRE)||9||Robert and Sarah Tizzard||Colin Tizzard|
|THOMAS BROWN||7||The Corse Lawners||Harry Fry|
|TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR)||9||Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr||Nicky Henderson|
|UN ACE (FR)||8||Ace In The Pack Partnership||Kim Bailey|
|UN TEMPS POUR TOUT (IRE)||7||Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew||David Pipe|
|UPSWING (IRE)||8||J P McManus||Jonjo O’Neill|
|VICENTE (FR)||7||John Hales & Ian Fogg||Paul Nicholls|
|VIRAK (FR)||7||Hills of Ledbury (Aga)||Paul Nicholls|
|VIVALDI COLLONGES (FR)||7||The Gi Gi Syndicate||Paul Nicholls|
|VYTA DU ROC (FR)||7||Simon Munir & Isaac Souede||Nicky Henderson|
|WAKANDA (IRE)||7||M B Scholey & R H Scholey||Sue Smith|
|WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE)||7||Gigginstown House Stud||Noel Meade IRE|
|WRATH OF TITANS (IRE)||7||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
8 Irish trained