Don Cossack and Coneygree top 60 entries for Hennessy Gold Cup
The two highest-rated chasers in training, Don Cossack and Coneygree, headline a stellar entry of 60, the highest since 2010, for the £200,000 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday, November 28, the third and final day of the bet365 Festival. The famous race is staged over three and a quarter miles and is the currently the most valuable handicap chase of the season run before the Grand National.
Don Cossack (Gordon Elliott) was a revelation last season and the manner of his victories in Aintree’s Melling Chase and the Punchestown Gold Cup elevated him to the top of the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications with a rating of 175. The eight-year-old has already proved his well-being this season with a facile 12-length victory in a Grade Three chase at Punchestown on October 15.
Elliott said: “Don Cossack has been entered in the Hennessy just to keep all his options open.
“He has come out Punchestown in great form and, at the moment, definitely goes to Down Royal at the weekend for the Champion Chase (Saturday, October 31).
“Realistically, I would say Newbury is unlikely but I want to give him the option of all those good races.”
Coneygree (pictured right), rated 172 at the end of last season, enjoyed a thrilling unbeaten 2014/15 campaign which culminated with him becoming the first novice chaser since Captain Christy in 1974 to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Trainer Mark Bradstock has nominated the Hennessy Gold Cup as the early-season target for the eight-year-old and is eyeing a prep run at either Carlisle (November 1) or Sandown (November 8).
Coneygree proved his liking for Newbury with two wins at the course last season, including an easy seven-length victory in the Grade Two Denman Chase over three miles in February.
Hennessy Gold Cup ante-post favourite Saphir Du Rheu (pictured right), an impressive winner over fences at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April, and RSA Chase runner-up Southfield Theatre headline an eight-strong entry for champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls. Other eye-catching entries for the Somerset handler include the rejuvenated bet365 Gold Cup victor Just A Par and progressive six-year-old Virak.
Saphir Du Rheu runs in famous colours of owner Andy Stewart who commented: “Saphir Du Rheu is absolutely fine.
“It is almost certain that he will travel to Down Royal with Rocky Creek (Paul Nicholls) this weekend to run in the two and a half mile intermediate chase. I was with Paul yesterday discussing our options and, although they both have other entries, we think we will go to Ireland.
“From what we have seen so far, a few of Paul’s have been needing the run and it makes sense to get an outing into Saphir du Rheu before the Hennessy.
“The Hennessy has not been my luckiest race but the bet365 Festival is one of my favourite meetings of the year and I will be flying back from Barbados to be there.”
Besides Don Cossack, there are seven more Irish-trained entries, including five from the powerful stable of Willie Mullins. The quintet features Don Poli, who toyed with his rivals when running away with the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March, dual Grade One scorer Valseur Lido and exciting mare Vroum Vroum Mag, who is unbeaten over fences since joining the Co Carlow handler.
Grand National hero Many Clouds (Oliver Sherwood) is likely to bid for a second Hennessy Gold Cup victory after a popular triumph last year, while Bobs Worth (Nicky Henderson), who captured the Hennessy Gold Cup en route to Gold Cup glory in 2012/13, is also engaged.
Trainer Philip Hobbs has five entries, notably If In Doubt and Sausalito Sunrise, while David Pipe’s five contenders are headed by Grade One winner Dynaste and the highly-regarded Kings Palace, plus the Alan Stennett-owned pair of Ballynagour and Monetaire.
Andy Clifton, Head of Communication at Newbury Racecourse, said: “We are delighted with both the quality and the strength in depth of the entry for this year’s Hennessy Gold Cup.
“Just about every horse on our wish list has been entered and, if all of the horses being aimed at the race turn up on the day, there is no doubt that it will be one of the finest renewals in the 59-year history of the race.”
Weights for the Hennessy Gold Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, November 11.
The bet365 Festival runs for three days from Thursday, November 26.
For more details and tickets, please visit www.newburyracecourse.co.uk or call 01635 40015. There is a £5 discount on Premier of Grandstand tickets purchased before midnight on Saturday, October 31.
Hennessy Gold Cup, bet365 bet: 7/1 Coneygree, Saphir du Rheu; 8/1 Don Cossack, Many Clouds, Don Poli, Vroum Vroum Mag; 12/1 Dynaste; 14/1 Valseur Lido, Kings Palace; 16/1 Menorah, Ballynagour, Cue Card, The Druids Nephew, Southfield Theatre, The Young Master; 20/1 Sam Winner, Unioniste, Smad Place, Virak, Le Reve, Splash of Ginge, Just A Par, Fingal Bay, Present View, Sausalito Sunrise, Monetaire, Urano; 25/1 Rocky Creek, Triolo d’Alene, First Lieutenant, Bobs Worth , If In Doubt, Spring Heeled, Easter Day, Ned Stark, Benbens; 33/1 Houblon des Obeaux, The Giant Bolster, Carole’s Destrier, Un Ace, Ballycasey, Cloudy Too, Theatre Guide, Pendra, Deputy Dan, Godsmejudge, La Vaticane; 40/1 Fox Appeal, Annacotty, Royal Player, Lost Legend, Horizontal Speed; 50/1 Seventh Sky, Al Co, No Buts, Cogry, Algernon Pazham, Saroque, African Gold; 66/1 Mountainous
The Hennessy Gold Cup
Grade 3 handicap chase, £200,000 total prize fund. Saturday, November 28, 3m 1f 214y. For four-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after November 8, 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 27, entries revealed October 28 (60 entries), weights revealed November 11, scratchings deadline November 17, five-day confirmations November 23, final declarations November 26. Maximum field 24 runners.
|AFRICAN GOLD (IRE)||7||Walters Plant, J & J Potter & Egan||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|AL CO (FR)||10||F Lloyd||Peter Bowen|
|ALGERNON PAZHAM (IRE)||6||Graham and Alison Jelley||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|ANNACOTTY (IRE)||7||Mrs Peter Prowting||Alan King|
|BALLYCASEY (IRE)||8||Susannah Ricci||Willie Mullins IRE|
|BALLYNAGOUR (IRE)||9||Allan Stennett||David Pipe|
|BENBENS (IRE)||10||Sarah Such & C G Paletta||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|BOBS WORTH (IRE)||10||The Not Afraid Partnership||Nicky Henderson|
|CAROLE’S DESTRIER||7||Mrs C Skipworth||Neil Mulholland|
|CLOUDY TOO (IRE)||9||Formulated Polymer Products Ltd||Sue Smith|
|COGRY||6||Graham and Alison Jelley||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|CONEYGREE||8||The Max Partnership||Mark Bradstock|
|CUE CARD||9||Mrs Jean R Bishop||Colin Tizzard|
|DEPUTY DAN (IRE)||7||Tim Syder||Oliver Sherwood|
|DON COSSACK (GER)||8||Gigginstown House Stud||Gordon Elliott IRE|
|DON POLI (IRE)||6||Gigginstown House Stud||Willie Mullins IRE|
|DYNASTE (FR)||9||John White||David Pipe|
|EASTER DAY (FR)||7||Broughton Thermal Insulation, B Fulton||Paul Nicholls|
|FINGAL BAY (IRE)||9||Mrs R J Skan||Philip Hobbs|
|FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE)||10||Gigginstown House Stud||Mouse Morris IRE|
|FOX APPEAL (IRE)||8||The Hawk Inn Syndicate 3||Emma Lavelle|
|GODSMEJUDGE (IRE)||9||Favourites Racing Ltd||David Dennis|
|HORIZONTAL SPEED (IRE)||7||Favourites Racing Ltd||David Dennis|
|HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)||8||Mrs Julian Blackwell||Venetia Williams|
|IF IN DOUBT (IRE)||7||J P McManus||Philip Hobbs|
|JUST A PAR (IRE)||8||Graham Roach & Paul K Barber||Paul Nicholls|
|KINGS PALACE (IRE)||7||Drew, George & Johnson Family||David Pipe|
|LA VATICANE (FR)||6||Maria Bukhtoyarova||David Pipe|
|LE REVE (IRE)||7||P H Betts||Lucy Wadham|
|LOST LEGEND (IRE)||8||Gay Smith||Jonjo O’Neill|
|MANY CLOUDS (IRE)||8||Trevor Hemmings||Oliver Sherwood|
|MENORAH (IRE)||10||Diana Whateley||Philip Hobbs|
|MONETAIRE (FR)||9||Allan Stennett||David Pipe|
|MOUNTAINOUS (IRE)||10||Hartley Phillips Roseff Shields||Kerry Lee|
|NED STARK (IRE)||7||The Dunkley & Reilly Partnership||Alan King|
|NO BUTS||7||Wontcostalot Partnership||David Bridgwater|
|PENDRA (IRE)||7||J P McManus||Charlie Longsdon|
|PRESENT VIEW||7||Sir Chips Keswick||Jamie Snowden|
|ROCKY CREEK (IRE)||9||The Johnson & Stewart Families||Paul Nicholls|
|ROYAL PLAYER||6||Diana Whateley||Philip Hobbs|
|SAM WINNER (FR)||8||Angela Yeoman||Paul Nicholls|
|SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)||6||The Stewart Family||Paul Nicholls|
|SAROQUE (IRE)||8||A Brooks||Venetia Williams|
|SAUSALITO SUNRISE (IRE)||7||Diana Whateley||Philip Hobbs|
|SEVENTH SKY (GER)||8||John Heron||Charlie Mann|
|SMAD PLACE (FR)||8||Mrs Peter Andrews||Alan King|
|SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (IRE)||7||Angela Yeoman||Paul Nicholls|
|SPLASH OF GINGE||7||John Neild||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|SPRING HEELED (IRE)||8||Dr Ronan Lambe||Jim Culloty IRE|
|THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE)||8||The Stonehenge Druids||Neil Mulholland|
|THE GIANT BOLSTER||10||Simon Hunt & Gary Lambton||David Bridgwater|
|THE YOUNG MASTER||6||Dajam Ltd||Neil Mulholland|
|THEATRE GUIDE (IRE)||8||Jean Bishop||Colin Tizzard|
|TRIOLO D’ALENE (FR)||8||Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr||Nicky Henderson|
|UN ACE (FR)||7||Ace In The Pack Partnership||Kim Bailey|
|UNIONISTE (FR)||7||John Hales||Paul Nicholls|
|URANO (FR)||7||Mrs M McMahon/Philip J Reynolds||Willie Mullins IRE|
|VALSEUR LIDO (FR)||6||Gigginstown House Stud||Willie Mullins IRE|
|VIRAK (FR)||6||Hills of Ledbury (Aga)||Paul Nicholls|
|VROUM VROUM MAG (FR)||6||Susannah Ricci||Willie Mullins IRE|