Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fingal to Make His Point at Newbury

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fingal to Make His Point at Newbury

Article excerpt

A HIGH-CLASS field of 19 will go to post for a tremendous renewal of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.

Willie Mullins is thriving at present and his Djakadam has been the subject of an intense gamble in recent weeks.

The five-year-old was a talented novice who would probably have gone very close in the JLT Novices' Chase at the Festival had he not fallen four out.

He lacks experience over fences and is yet to tackle such a big field but this progressive type is very well-treated at the weights.

Shocks are rare in the Hennessy with eight of the last 10 winners starting at odds of 10-1 or shorter and 15 of the last 20 victors came from the first five in the betting.

Youth is a real asset in the race with just two of the last 10 scorers being aged eight or older.

Alan King is in cracking form and he has a leading contender in Smad Place.

The grey was a talented novice who rounded off his campaign with a valiant second in the RSA Chase at the Festival.

That race is often a reliable pointer to the Hennessy and Smad Place should go very close on his favoured soft ground.

King has another big chance with Midnight Prayer who took the National Hunt Chase at last year's Festival and looks thrown in off 10st 5lbs.

Many Clouds has come in for sustained support since beating some talented rivals in the Colin Parker at Carlisle last month.

He is a superb jumper but may just lack the necessary size for such a bruising contest.

Only four of the last 20 winners had previously run in the race which rules out Triolo D'Alene, Rocky Creek, Merry King and Houblon Des Obeaux.

Unioniste has achieved a huge amount already in his short career and looks colossal value at odds of around 12-1. Paul Nicholls' charge is hugely consistent and can make a bold bid despite having to shoulder a welter-burden of 11st 6lbs.

Philip Hobbs has begun the season in style and relies on the enigmatic FINGAL BAY (3.00).

The eight-year-old has not run over fences for two years but he did finish four lengths ahead of the reopposing Unioniste over 2m 4f at Cheltenham. …

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