The Hennessy No More - End of An Era at Newbury
The Hennessy Gold Cup is no more at the Newbury Winter Festival. It is now to be known as the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase. So ends the longest running sponsorship of a national hunt race in the UK.
It just does not seem the same to associate this great race with a bookmaker. I appreciate that times change and sponsorship must be obtained where it can.
For me one of my abiding memories was Denman carrying 11-12 on 2 occasions through the mud from the front and destroying a decent field , particularly in 2009 when 9 years old. It just won’t seem the same to hear Simon Holt say “The Ladbrokes Trophy” again and again!
Newbury Saturday Highlights
There is some top class racing in the 7 races at the Newbury track. The highlight is the aforementioned Ladbrokes Trophy. Currently there is a warm order favourite there in the Willie Mullins trained Total Recall. With 21 runners going to post I am loathe to take 5/1 about a horse running in the UK for the first time and also with having only won 2 of his last 9 races!
My preference is for the Harry Fry/Noel Fehily combination who pair up with American. The horse comes here having won his last 3 chases and although this is his first run this season he did win first time out last year.
The 2.25 race is an interesting hurdle race. All the usual suspects have runners present. Alan King has 3 and the one that interest me is Cosmeopolitan. He has only had 1 hurdle race which was at Newbury where he won easily by 7l. Since then 4 runs on the flat have seen him have little success but the return to hurdles may see an upturn in fortunes.
Phillip Hobbs runs Poppy Kay who won over hurdles at Newbury as recently as the 9th of November. Whilst the field was not the strongest this at least show that the mare is in form and fit.
Paul Nicholls runs Divin Bere who has only run in Class 2 or above in the UK. His form figures in his 3 races are 1/2/2 so I would be very surprised if he was not sent off at the head of the market and did not at the very least place here.
Tip of The Day
MY NEWBURY WINTER FESTIVAL TIP OF THE DAY IS AMERICAN E/W IN THE LADBROKES TROPHY 3.00PM RACE - GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT 7/1 (1/4 ODDS FIRST 4 THOUGH SOME BOOKMAKERS ARE 1/5 FIRST 5)