Hennessy Gold Cup
|Grade 3 Handicap, Newbury 15:00
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
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.
Mark: "It is perfectly possibly that we may decide that the right thing is to go for the easier option of the Lexus."
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 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."
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
|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|