Hennessy Gold Cup
horse racing tipster
Grade 3 Handicap, Newbury 15:00
£200,000 added,
4yo plus,
3m 1f 214y, Class 1  
Saturday 28th November 2015

Nov 25 Valseur Lido, a best-priced 14-1 chance has been ruled out of the race by Willie Mullins

Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Coneygree has been ruled out of Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup after failing to sparkle in a schooling session on Tuesday.

© Racehorse Photos

The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner's participation in the Newbury highlight had been under a cloud following a small setback.

However, noises coming out of his camp had been more positive in recent days and as long as he came through his exercise for which he was partnered by his regular jockey Nico de Boinville, he was due to take his chance.

Unfortunately, trainer Mark Bradstock and his wife Sara were not happy enough with his performance to give him the green light.

"We've got a month to either the King George or the Lexus Chase," said Sara.

Mark: "It is perfectly possibly that we may decide that the right thing is to go for the easier option of the Lexus."

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Paul Nicholls is gunning for his fourth Hennessy win - a race he also won twice as a jockey - and Saphir Du Rheu stands his ground. The Ditcheat maestro last won the Hennessy with dual scorer Denman in 2009, and Saphir Du Rheu, an impressive winner of the Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree last season, made a pleasing return to action at Carlisle at the beginning of the month.

As well as The Young Master, who was no match for Nicholls' inmate in Listed company at the Cumbria track, trainer Neil Mulholland has The Druids Nephew firmly on course for a tilt at the historic handicap.

The Druids Nephew
© Racehorse Photos

The Druids Nephew
An impressive winner of the Grade Three Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season, the King's Theatre gelding has shown a good level of improvement since joining Mulholland's stable.

The eight-year-old came to grief at the fifth-last when travelling menacingly in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on his final start last term and is expected to have come forward for his Wetherby reappearance in the West Yorkshire Hurdle last month.

Mulholland said: "Newbury is still very much the plan and we're pleased with him following a racecourse gallop at the track last Tuesday.

"He's in good form at home and I'm happy with him. It looks like we're in for a dry week and that will only enhance his claims come the weekend."

Willie Mullins can call upon Grade One winner Ballycasey, as well as Urano, who collected a Listed prize at Wexford recently.

Mouse Morris is represented by 2012 Hennessy third First Lieutenant who, for all that he isn't the force of old, didn't perform too badly on his reappearance in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

Three-time Cheltenham Festival winner and 2013 Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth, who lifted the 2012 Hennessy, bounced back to form when successful over hurdles at Aintree earlier this month and adds further intrigue to what is shaping up to be a fine renewal.

Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (Grade 3 Handicap)
£200,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 1f 214y, Class 1
19 remaining entries
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places

Form Horse Age Weight Trainer
27U3-71 Benbens (IRE) 34 10 9-12 N A Twiston-Davies
U6/45-9P Cloudy Too (IRE) 17 9 9-13 Mrs S J Smith
68308-4 First Lieutenant (IRE) 16 10 10-1 M F Morris
173PB4 Ballycasey (IRE) 210 8 10-2 W P Mullins
115P32 Fingal Bay (IRE) 26 9 9-12 P J Hobbs
0P33U7 Al Co (FR) 224 10 9-9 P Bowen
1640U-3 Theatre Guide (IRE) 29 8 9-7 C L Tizzard
433271 Urano (FR) 33 7 9-8 W P Mullins
11418-6 Ned Stark (IRE) 28 7 9-8 A King
1P7P77 Splash of Ginge 14 7 10-3 N A Twiston-Davies
U2115P If In Doubt (IRE) 236 7 10-3 P J Hobbs
2751F-6 The Druids Nephew (IRE) 28 8 10-10 N P Mulholland
2220F-9 Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 28 8 10-10 Miss V Williams
112361- Valseur Lido (FR) 214 WITHDRAWN 6 10-11 W P Mullins
1F121-1 Saphir Du Rheu (FR) 27 6 11-3 P F Nicholls
3/754PF- The Giant Bolster 213 10 10-10 D G Bridgwater
2/5284-1 Smad Place (FR) 26 8 10-9 A King
11D17-2 The Young Master 27 6 10-4 N P Mulholland
22U833 Fox Appeal (IRE) 28 8 10-6 Miss E C Lavelle
158P01 Bobs Worth (IRE) 21 10 10-7 N J Henderson
311111 Coneygree 20 WITHDRAWN 8 11-12 M Bradstock

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