Racing: Confidence grows in Celestial Gold

Little fish are sweet, according to Martin Pipe, but he does not mind the occasional marlin on the line, such as Celestial Gold.

Little fish are sweet, according to Martin Pipe, but he does not mind the occasional marlin on the line, such as Celestial Gold.

The recent Paddy Power Gold Cup winner is favourite for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday, for which 19 runners were declared yesterday. There is a bubbling reservoir of confidence behind the latest handicap climber from Pond House.

Pipe's assault on the Hennessy has so far yielded successes with Strands Of Gold in 1988 and Chatam in 1991. It seems about time to reclaim the shield. "What is amazing is that before the Paddy Power all of his [Celestial Gold's] races were over longer trips - he was second in a four-mile chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival," Chester Barnes, Pipe's assistant, said yesterday. "You would think that the Hennessy trip at Newbury would be right up Celestial Gold's street. He will handle the ground and the trip should be perfect." The champion trainer could also be represented by Betfred Gold Cup victor Puntal and the novice Vodka Bleu, but he has taken out Therealbandit and Stormez. His stormtroops, though, look fairly well equipped.

First Gold heads the weights with 11st 12lb while Royal Auclair, formerly trained by Pipe, is the only horse to stand its ground from the Paul Nicholls stable, who sent out the damaged but repairing Strong Flow to easily win the race 12 months ago. Haverfordwest trainer Peter Bowen is currently treble-handed with Take The Stand, Ballycassidy and Swansea Bay, while Durham handler Howard Johnson has left in the exciting novice Lord Transcend. Other interesting entries include the sole Irish possible Nil Desperandum, trained by Frances Crowley, Nick Gifford's well-backed Joly Bey and Ollie Magern, from Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The French Furze, winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle 12 months ago, features among a cast of 12 entered for the Grade One event also on Saturday. Nicky Richards' 10-year-old beat Geos by three-quarters of a length last season, with Intersky Falcon, who was sent off the 1-2 favourite, over two lengths back in third. Both of those rivals could take their chance again, although they face a strong challenge from the some rising stars, including the Howard Johnson-trained Inglis Drever. The five-year-old will be having his first start out of novice company, on what will also be his first try at the minimum distance of two miles.

There was evidence yesterday that racing can be damaging on the wellbeing as much as the pocket when a racegoer was airlifted to hospital from Southwell after being kicked in the face by a horse.

The man was standing by the parade ring before the fourth race at 1.30pm when the incident happened. "He was attended to by the doctors and was then taken by air ambulance to hospital," said assistant clerk of the course David Williams. "The gentleman was standing by the parade ring, on the correct side of the fence, when a horse jumped up and gave an unusual kick that just caught him. For anybody to get kicked in the face is horrible but the doctors were straight on the scene and he was conscious after the incident."

* Tony McCoy, out of action since dislocating his thumb at Folkestone on 15 November, expects to return tomorrow. McCoy has been booked for First Gold in the Hennessy.

Suggested Topics
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

RE/Humanities, Sittingbourne School

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We urgently seek an experienced ...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Southampton: Randstad Education are recruiting ...

Maths Teacher, full time supply role, Medway Academy

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Our client school in Chatham, a ...

Geography Teacher, Dover School, full time role

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is urgently s...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?