I have decided to put out a selection for the Hennessy Gold Cup as I think there will be further major defections before the weekend. There is a fair chance of Cape Tribulation and Katenko coming out of the race and if those two and any others come out our selection is likely to drop significantly in price.
The forecast for the rest of the week is dry and the going is likely to move to good rather than good to soft and if that is the case Katenko is more than likely to miss the race.
3.00 Newbury Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+)
This is shaping up to be a very high class Hennessy with Rocky Creek the likely favourite. Rocky Creek comes from the Paul Nicholls stable and he has a great record in the race. Rocky Creek is improving but most of his wins have been in small fields and he may find it a challenge in this bigger field. He is too short a price at 7/1 when he is unproven at this level.
Katenko would probably have been a selection along with Lord Windermere if ground conditions were softer, but as I mentioned he is a likely non runner if the ground dries out.
Cloudy Too won first time out and looked impressive but again that was in a small field. He also appears to prefer softer going and may get tapped for pace if he runs.
Invictus is more intriguing as he beat Bobs Worthand Silviniaco Conti in his last run in February 2012, but it is a big ask to win a race of this class after almost two years out. He is likely to finish in the first four however.
Lord Windermere won the Grade 1 RSA chase at Cheltenham at the Festival and is one of the chasers likely to challenge for the Gold Cup come March. He jumps well and has been trained specifically for this race and his trainer has been bullish in his comments this week. If Lord Windermere replicates his Cheltenham performance then he should win this. I have put 1 point on the place as cover due to the competition in the race.
Back tomorrow evening with a selection at Newbury on Thursday.