Many Clouds gives Oliver Sherwood second Hennessy Gold Cup
Many Clouds, ridden by Leighton Aspell and trained by Oliver Sherwood, landed the 58th running of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury this afternoon.
The 8/1 shot came with a powerful late run to lead at the last and stayed on strongly to beat Houblon Des Obeaux (50/1) by 3 ¼ lengths.
Merry King (14/1) was a further length back in third with Monbeg Dude (25/1) taking fourth spot. Favourite Djakadam finished a distant eighth.
Sherwood, who won the Hennessy Gold Cup with Arctic Call back in 1990, had always had this race in mind for the seven-year-old who won his prep race at Carlisle earlier this month.
Earlier on the card, More Of That lost his unbeaten record in the bet365 Long Distance Hurdle when he finished third behind Medinas and Cole Harden.
Alan King’s Medinas was winning his first race since the 2013 Coral Cup and was the final leg of a treble for jockey Richard Johnson who won on Royal Regatta and Bertie Boru for his boss Philip Hobbs.
Tom Scudamore clinched the Racing UK Jockey Championship at the meeting with four winners thanks to Monetaire’s victory in the last. The jockey donated £250 to the South West Children’s Hospice and £250 to the Injured Jockeys Fund, and received a free subscription to Racing UK.
There were a number of celebrities in attendance including Hollywood superstar Carey Mulligan, former Spice Girl Mel C, Jennifer Saunders, Cilla Black and Martin Clunes.
Today’s attendance was 17,351, which is up 7% from last year (16,461). Over the three-day festival 30,215 attended, compared with 28,167 from last year.
Julian Thick, CEO of Newbury Racecourse said: “The Hennessy Gold Cup is one of the greatest races on the National Hunt calendar and congratulations to the connections of Many Clouds, who produced a superb performance.
“Hennessy Gold Cup day is also the social highlight of the winter and we are thrilled that so many people came to enjoy the action. It was great to see all the famous faces here again and massive thanks go to our sponsors Hennessy and bet365 for helping make this a truly memorable three-day festival.”