Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smad Has Hennessy Date with Destiny Now's the Time Now's the Place; Irving's Got It Together Now

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smad Has Hennessy Date with Destiny Now's the Time Now's the Place; Irving's Got It Together Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Owen

By Garry Owen ONCE more unto the breach dear friends, once more with courageous grey SMAD PLACE (3.00) at Newbury.

Fifth to Many Clouds in this race last year, the bonny grey carried the hopes, dreams and rent money of the Taylor household, but it was not to be.

I've always had a soft spot for Smad Place and he was probably unfortunate to be a staying hurdler in the time of Big Buck's and Solwhit. He couldn't land TURN TO PAGE TWO FROM PAGE ONE a blow when eighth behind Coneygree in the Gold Cup, but then again not many could.

Smad runs off the same mark as last year, 155, but I believe we'll see a stronger, fitter horse this time round. He came straight to the Hennessy last season from the RSA in March, and Alan King has adopted a different game plan for his grey.

The Barbury genius decided to give him a prep in a graduation chase over an inadequate 2m4f at Kempton at the start of the month and things couldn't have worked out better.

Taking it up at the fourth, Wayne Hutchinson galloped and jumped his rivals, including Fingal Bay into the ground.

King said: "Smad Place got very tired last year so I didn't want to make the same mistake again. He did it well at Kempton and he seems in real good order.

"Whether he'll want it to be a real slog, and it's going to be a slog, I'm not sure, but we'll have to give it a go."

I am sure he'll be battling on when others have cried enough and when Wayne sends the grey on up the Newbury straight I'll be crying "God for Garry, Scotland and Smad Place."

I'm hoping 'outside influence' will not be required to get LE VATICANE (1.15) off the mark for David Pipe. A winning hurdler/ chaser in her native France, the grey mare joined the Nicholashayne boys in March. She ran a cracker when second to Theinval in a hot handicap hurdle at Kempton on going faster than she's used to.

Sent off fav at Cheltenham this month she ran out of gas, again on unsuitable ground. …

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