For the first time in nearly 30 years I still can’t picture the final field of this year’s Hennessey Gold Cup, which is run at Newbury on Saturday.
Normally I have a pretty vivid picture of who’s going to line up but what with this weather and uncertainty finding the winner is going to be a tough call..........or is it?
First Lieutenant is my long range Cheltenham Gold Cup horse. He loves good ground so has to be doubtful. His RSA Chase conqueror Bobs Worth requires the same and is making his seasonal debut in what is a tough race to win. Add in that he’s not exactly handicapped like Diamond Harry was when he won it first time out 2 years ago and you have plenty doubts in place.
Magnanimity is well handicapped on his own RSA form from 2011 getting in with 10-3lb but again has to be a doubtful starter, so who’s going to win it then?
Well, a horse who ran 4th in a Gold Cup off a mark of 165, that’s who! He gets in this off 166, the Gold Cup run telling you he’s not as badly handicapped as some think. He carried 11-12 to victory at Sandown back in April in a Betfair Gold Cup but TIDAL BAY doesn’t know he won off a mark some 12lb lower than he’s set for in this. What will suit is that Newbury is a flat galloping track and Ruby Walsh can drop him out. On the forecast really soft ground he won’t be run off his feet to keep up so should hopefully be able to hunt his way round at a bit of a crawl until grinding them down at the business end.
I can see Tidal Bay running a massive race on Saturday and the 8/1 with Ladbrokes as I write is still a solid e/w bet.
Saturday, December 1
Newbury (Hennessey Gold Cup) TIDAL BAY e/w