Racing: Bad work rules out Hennessy favourite

FOLLOWERS OF the Hennessy Gold Cup favourite, Stormyfairweather, who stayed behind after racing at Kempton last night to watch their hope limber up for Saturday week's Newbury feature, were able to warm themselves on a big bonfire of ante-post betting slips as darkness descended on the Sunbury course. Nicky Henderson's chaser, partnered by Mick Fitzgerald, trailed in about eight lengths behind his stablemates Bacchanal and Fiddling The Facts at the end of the two-mile work-out and will miss the Hennessy for which he had been 7-1 favourite.

Before the workout Henderson had emphasised that this was just a sharpening exercise and not a trial. It did, however, condemn Stormyfairweather to the sidelines on Saturday week.

"It looks I'm not going to get Stormy there," Henderson said. "The race is going to come a fortnight too soon for him." "Mick said he was going to run all over the other two coming into the straight but he was the first one to get tired. At the end of last season he had two hocks drained and that is what put us back by a fortnight."

In contrast, Fiddling The Facts, last year's Hennessy third, who finished upsides Bacchanal, delighted Henderson. "Just like last year before the Hennessy she's worked well and she will go for the race as long as the ground isn't firm," the trainer said.

Ever Blessed, trained by Mark Pitman, put himself on target for the Hennessy after working satisfactorily with his stablemate Canasta in another post- racing Kempton gallop. He is now joint-favourite for the race with Coral at 6-1 alongside Spendid. No Retreat, who had been 16-1 for Newbury, will also miss the race and indeed the whole of the season after sustaining a leg strain.

These prime examples of the pitfalls of ante-post speculation came too late for some punters who, almost inexplicably, yesterday plunged on Florida Pearl for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The reason why some diehards dipped into their pockets on a Wednesday in November for a race run next March seems to be that they were told to by a tipping line - and so they did. The Willie Mullins-trained chaser is now a best-priced 6-1 joint-favourite for the race with Coral, whose spokesman, Simon Clare, said: "We laid Florida Pearl at all rates from 9-1 down to 6-1 during a crazy half-hour this morning before the money dried up.

"A tipping service recommended See More Business this time last year so its followers are playing with bookies money."

Ladbrokes reported that money had come "thick and fast" for Florida Pearl and cut the seven-year-old to 9-2 favourite from 7-1, while the Tote and William Hill are both 9-2 from 10-1 and 8-1 respectively.

Florida Pearl finished third to See More Business and Go Ballistic in this year's renewal of the Gold Cup and made a winning return this term at Down Royal this month.

Ken Bridgwater, who trained the popular hurdler Winnie The Witch, a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 1991, died suddenly yesterday at the age of 66.

Bridgwater, who was based in Solihull, leaves a widow, Mary Ann, to whom he was married for 41 years, and three sons, Kenneth, Gary and David. The latter, the regular rider of Winnie The Witch, including in that County Hurdle win, and now a trainer in his own right, confirmed the news. "He'd just fed the mares in the field, walked in and that was it."

n Market Rasen is to raise its profile by staging its most valuable race ever next July. The Lincolnshire course will hold the pounds 50,000 Summer Special Handicap Chase on Saturday 22 July. Fleeting Mandate, trained by Paul Webber, won this year's renewal of the two-and-a-half mile contest, beating 13 rivals for a first prize of pounds 20,765.

Suggested Topics
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own