Sam Thomas recalls his Coral (formerly Hennessy) Gold Cup win aboard Denman in 2007

Yesterday Newbury Racecourse visited Sam Thomas’ yard in Wales ahead of this weekend’s Coral Gold Cup to meet his two contenders, Stolen Silver and Our Power.

Sam has previously won this prestigious race as a jockey in 2007 on none other than ‘The Tank’ that was Denman. He bids to join only two others, the late Andy Turnell and Paul Nicholls, who have won the race both as a jockey and as a trainer.

Denman’s early season target that season was the (Hennessy Cognac) Gold Cup here at Newbury on the first Saturday of December. His trainer, Paul Nicholls, was unable to get a prep run into him because of the ground throughout the country did not suit in the lead up to the race. After winning the Berkshire Novices Chase here the year previous, he was partnered with Sam Thomas again after Ruby Walsh dislocated his shoulder in a fall at Cheltenham two weeks previously.

Sent off at odds of 6/1 2nd fav, Denman tracked the leaders early before being sent on at the water jump by Thomas. From then on, he cruised 12l clear of Dream Alliance, winning this historic race for the second time.

After he retired in December 2011, Newbury Racecourse named a race in honour of this very special horse. The Betfair Denman Chase runs annually in February and was won most recently by Zanza. 

In 2019, the Denman Gates were unveiled at the racecourse, again to honour this incredible superstar. A multiple Newbury winner, he was the only horse to win two runnings of the Coral Gold Cup since Arkle. 

Have a listen below to what Sam had to say on his fond memories of Denman –