Supreme Glory will have his first outing since finishing second to Monty's Pass in the 2003 Aintree Grand National when he lines up for the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday, 27 November.
The weights for the prestigious three-and-a-quarter mile handicap chase, which has attracted 55 entries, were published yesterday and Supreme Glory's trainer, Pat Murphy, is under no illusions about the task facing the 11-year-old who has been allotted 9st 9lb.
Murphy said last night: "As horses get older it takes longer to get them fit and although Supreme Glory has been back in training since the middle of July, he is not quite fit enough to run at Cheltenham this week.
"He had a bit of heat in both front tendons when he came back in the autumn of 2003, so we had him pin-fired. Leighton Aspell, who will ride him in all his races, schooled him over nine fences this morning and said he was 'quick in and quick out'. The Hennessy looks a very competitive race and the plan after that is to go for the Welsh National or the four-miler at Cheltenham and then the Grand National again."
The François Doumen-trained First Gold is top weight with 11st 12lb while Jonjo O'Neill's Keen Leader and the Tom Taaffe-trained Kicking King, one of last season's top novice chasers, are next best on 11st 7lb. Joly Bey, trained by Nick Gifford, is on 10st 3lb, while Martin Pipe's Therealbandit, who has been given 10st 13lb, has already attracted support and is as low as 7-1 with William Hill. Nigel Twiston-Davies' three-time novice chase winner Ollie Magern has 10st 9lb, with the promising Lord Transcend, who ran only once last season when winning at Ayr, on 9st 12lb.
Hughie Morrison's Frenchman's Creek, off the course since finishing third in the 2002 Attheraces Gold Cup, is set to carry 10st 3lb. Therealbandit will reappear in the Lombard Properties Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday and Ladbrokes spokesman Balthazar Fabricius commented: "The stats say a horse with less than 11st on its back is always favoured which may be just one of the reasons why Therealbandit has been well supported."
Kieren Fallon will miss all his six booked rides at today's Wolverhampton's all-weather meeting as he has "another commitment," according to his agent, Dave Pollington. The former champion was due to ride Zarabad for Sir Michael Stoute in the first race and Robert Winston will take over.
The Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain has booked Fallon for Warrsan in the Grade One Japan Cup on 28 November. Brittain said yesterday: "Kieren rode Warrsan at Newmarket in his final piece of work yesterday over seven furlongs and I was delighted. Warrsan will fly out to Japan on Sunday, with Membership, where he will have seven days in quarantine before heading out to the Tokyo racecourse." Fallon has also been invited to ride in Hong Kong's jockeys' challenge on 8 December and in the International Jockeys' Championship there on 12 December.
HENNESSY GOLD CUP BETTING (Newbury, 27 Nov): William Hill: 7-1 Therealbandit, 8-1 Joly Bey , 12-1 Lord Transcend, Ollie Magern, 14-1 Royal Auclair, Simply Supreme, Take The Stand, 16-1 Keen Leader, Nil Desperandum, 20-1 others. Ladbrokes: 8-1 Therealbandit, 9-1 Joly Bey, 12-1 Lord Transcend, Ollie Magern, 14-1 Royal Auclair, Simply Supreme, 16-1 Celestial Gold, Nil Desperandum, 20-1 others. Coral: 8-1 Therealbandit, 9-1 Lord Transcend, 10-1 Joly Bey, 11-1 Ollie Magern, 12-1 Take The Stand, 14-1 Simply Supreme, 16-1 Ballycassidy, Banasan, Native Emperor, Nil Desperandum, Royal Auclair, 20-1 others.Reuse content