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Spotlight on the Hennessy

My favourite National Hunt race of the year, the highest class handicap race of the season, the Hennessy. Prove you're the best by taking on the world and giving them weight where necessary, not just sticking to set weights/weight-for-age races. There's no stud value to be precious about in the jumping world!

Stepping in with an early trends-based preview of this week's big race is astute punter Steve Mullington, @mulldog. You can read plenty more of his work on his Mull It Over blog.

Spotlight on the Hennessy Gold Cup

The Hennessy Gold Cup takes place this Saturday at Newbury and once again it has attracted a high class field. Last Saturday’s Lancashire Chase winner trainer Paul Nicholls holds a strong hand with Rocky Creek, Black Thunder and Unioniste whilst lady of the moment Venetia Williams saddles Houblon Des Obeaux.

The Hennessy is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase run over a distance of 3m 2½ furlongs. In the past ten years two winners have won this race on route to then winning the Cheltenham Gold cup namely Denman and Bobs Worth.

Trainer trends (past ten years)
Nicky Henderson (3-3-12) trained the winner in 2005, 2012 & 2013.
Paul Nicholls (2-7-24) trained Denman to win in 2007 and 2009 and has won the race three times in all.
David Pipe (1-3-10) has had the winner once in the past ten years.
Philip Hobbs (0-3-10) has never won it in the past ten years. His last winner in this race was back in 2001.

Age Trends (win-place-runners)
5-y-o: 0-0-2
6-y-o: 3-9-27
7-y-o: 5-8-59
8-y-o: 1-2-24
9-y-o: 1-5-42
10-y-o: 0-3-16
11-y-o+ 0-1-7

As you can see a combination of all the 6 & 7 year old winners over the past ten years has yielded eight race winners in all, more than any other age group.
Diamond Edge in 1981 is the only horse aged over nine to win in the last forty years.
Over 8s haven’t fared that well either over the past ten years with only Denman bucking that trend when he won the race for a second time.

Price Trends
Eight of the last ten winners were sent off 10/1 or shorter.
The winner has come the first four in the betting seven times out of the last ten renewals.

Other Race Trends
Highest placed RSA finisher to run in this event: 161P22P18 (3-2-9)
UK Jump Jockey & Trainer Partnership Trends (past 14 days)
R.Johnson/PJ Hobbs 10-26 (38.5%), S.Twiston-Davies/P.F Nicholls 10-32 (31.3%), T.Scudamore/D.Pipe 5-25 (20%), A.Coleman/V.Williams 5-26 (19.2%), B.J Geraghty/N.J Henderson 3-14 (21.4%)

Previous Winners



(Graphic courtesy of www.ratz4racing.co.uk)

Summary
Given their impeccable record in this race in recent times it is very difficult to get away from backing a Nicholls or Henderson trained horse. Six and seven year olds look to be the order of the day and my own personal selection is the seven year old Smad Place (e/w). Although Alan King’s name is not particularly synonymous with this race his grey gelding ticks plenty of the trends boxes for me.

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