Hennessy Gold Cup Preview

Hennessy Gold Cup 28/11/15 A Grade 3 H’cap 3m 2 1/2F

Eagles Eyes (+299.63) takes a look at solving the puzzle that is the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. ***Please note this was written before Coneygree was ruled out.


Below are the last 12 winners of the Hennessy with some basic stats. From these winners came future Gold Cup, Grand National & Grade 1 winners. This year’s event looks another classic with last year’s Gold Cup winner Coneygree heading the weights of a mark of 172. The last horse to run off a mark of 170’s in this race was the mighty Denman who won in 2009 off a mark of 174. He beat stable mate What A Friend by 3 1/2L giving him 22lbs. The second that day won two G1’s on his next two starts.

2014 Many Clouds 7 11-6 27 151
2013 Triolo D’alene 6 11-1 28 147
2012 Bobs Worth 7 11-6 262 160
2011 Carruthers 8 10-4 14 146
2010 Diamond Harry 7 10-0 255 152
2009 Denman 9 11-12 238 174
2008 Madison Du Berlais 7 11-4 28 154
2007 Denman 7 11-12 260 161
2006 State of Play 6 11-4 225 145
2005 Trabolgan 7 11-12 250 151
2004 Celestial Gold 6 10-5 14 142
2003 Strong Flow 6 11-0 11 140


My stats/trends are a combination of information freely available on the net:

-The average ratings range is 140-152 but as you can see above that Denman(twice) & Bobs Worth have bucked that trend.

-The age range is 6-8 years old. Again the trend is bucked by the mighty Denman.

-Running within 28 days of the race or off a long break seems the answer to finding the winner.

-Carrying above 11st is successful 9/12.

-7/12 were rated above 150


Other stats needed are:

-3m + chase winner

-Run over fences 3 – 6 times

-Second season chasers are most successful

-Won at class 2 or higher over fences

-8 of 10 winners had won a graded/listed chase

-Over 80% of the winners have run up with the pace.


The Qualifiers are :

Coneygree, Saphir Du Rheu, Valseur Lido, The Young Master, If In Doubt, Ned Stark.

Coneygree 4.50

This horse could do a Denman. If he succeeds I will rate his performance better than the great horse due to the fact that the opposition is stronger than in 2009.

As a Gold Cup winning novice chaser he has already broken the rules of steeplechasing. In only his fourth chase, he won the pot of gold with a display of front running and jumping never before seen in the race. He’s only run 5 times over fences, winning 2 Grade 1, 2 Grade 2 & a Listed event. Has had a late training scare recently, but passed fit this week.

Saphir Du Rheu 4.50

Has had five starts over fences with a Grade 1 win at Aintree being the highlight. His start to fencing didn’t give anyone confidence as he fell, unseated & won a modest novice chase at Exeter in his first three races. After his fall, he reverted back to hurdling with a grade 2 win before finishing 2nd to Cole Harden in the World Hurdle over 3miles. After that fine run Nicholls sent him back over fences to win at Aintree, though the bare form doesn’t look that good . Won with ease on his seasonal debut beating The Young Master 7L over 20F giving the second 4lbs.

Valseur Lido 13.00

Ran six times over fences, five times over 20F and once over 3m 1F. Won a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse over 20F beating Apache Stronghold by 8L before finishing 2nd to the same horse next time out. Ran a fine third place against the hotpot Vautour at Cheltenham over 20F never going the pace of the winner. Bombed out at Fairyhouse next time up, before winning G1 over 3m 1F beating the RSA winner Don Poli and two other graded winners. Has won first time up before.

The Young Master 15.00

Won his first four races over fences with dominant displays of front running. Was disqualified from his Wincanton Listed win due to being not qualified to run. Didn’t run much of a race in the RSA behind Don Poli. Warmed up for this race behind Saphir Du Rheu. A share of the horse has been bought by the Waley-Cohen’s who will have their son Sam aboard who can claim 3lbs off his allotted weight.

If In Doubt 15.00

I have already given up this horse as my ante post ew bet @ 26.00. Below is my reasons for doing so.

  • He showed last year at Doncaster in a listed h’cap(SkyBet Chase) in only his fourth chase that he had a high crusing speed and the stamina to win at the highest level. He scored by an easy 3 1/2L before going to the festival at Cheltenham in the RSA Chase finishing 8L behind Don Poli while closing rapidly up the hill.
  • He goes on any ground, runs well fresh, unexposed & fits within the trends of recent years.

Ned Stark 26.00

Ned Stark has a G2 win over 3m at Wetherby amongst his three chase wins. Sent to the Cheltenham Festival as the favourite for a Grade 3 h’cap he failed to deliver on ground faster than he needs. He had run a similar poor race earlier in the season on g/soft and this season on his debut he didn’t pick up at the end of the race at Ascot on good ground. Also he is 6lbs out of the h’cap and will need a decent claimer on board if he is to run.


-The race will be frantic from the start with at least five front runners in the starting line up. Good jumping, high cruising speed , solid three mile form and being able to preform in soften ground will be needed to win.

-I must scratch Saphir Du Rhea due to his jumping.

-Valseur Lido doesn’t strike me as being able to stay this distance off a high pace, so he is out.

-Ned Stark is out of the h’cap, which isn’t ideal, nor is a claimer aboard if they go down that route. Even more of a problem is that Ned seems to need genuine soft ground, not sure he will get this on Saturday. I do like Ned Stark as a future big h’cap winner, but not this weekend.

-That leaves us with Coneygree, The Young Master & If In Doubt.

-I believe Coneygree could do a Denman, but this is a stronger renewal than in 2009. He has strong front runners to contend with who are carrying btw 16-25lbs less than him and they may just push him too much into his reserves for him to survive the last 2F carrying 11st 12 lbs. Whatever happens here I will still be backing him to defend his Gold Cup Crown.

-That leaves us with my original ante post bet If In Doubt and The Young Master. Both trainers of the two remaining are in excellent form and I’m sure this has been their target since last year.

-Hobbs could have run If I Doubt before this race, but for him to send him here without a prep means business in my eyes. His win on the flat track of Doncaster last season was all about high cruising speed with the stamina to win off a fast pace. Newbury will suit him to a tee.

-The Young Master showed last year that he was going places with his front running tactics. Off only 10st 1lb he can take Coneygree into the red near the end of the race; whether he can win is up for debate.

Back both horses ew for a nice return.


Best Bets
Back If I doubt each way at 10/1 with bet365
back Young Master each way at 10/1 with betvictor