Racing: Dennis disappointed with Osborne tactics

WALTER DENNIS yesterday hinted that he was unhappy with Jamie Osborne's riding of Coome Hill in the Hennessy. "It was somewhat disappointing," Dennis said. "It was probably a) the ground and the weight and b) he had a bit too much use made of him early on."

"It was an extraordinary race with so many good horses pulled up, like Call It A Day and The Toiseach. Those who went off in front didn't get home and we probably set the race up for Teeton Mill."

Osborne defended his tactics: "I know the horse very well and I felt that for him to have every chance of winning it needed to be a true test of stamina. Unfortunately he wasn't capable of maintaining a gallop. When he won the race [in 1996] I went off in front - unfortunately it didn't work yesterday.

"I have discussed it with Walter and there is no animosity between us. I don't think Coome Hill at his best could have given a stone and 5lb to Teeton Mill yesterday."

Dennis will now prepare Coome Hill for a tilt at the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, while Teeton Mill may return to action in Ascot's Betterware Cup on 19 December.

The Hennessy favourite, Seven Towers, may have lost his chance jumping the first fence it emerged yesterday. Mary Reveley believes the gelding may have trapped a nerve in his back at the first of the 21 obstacles. Seven Towers was always behind and was well adrift when pulled up seven fences from home.

"He twisted at the fist fence and never took a cut or galloped after that," Reveley said. "He has run like that before and it is nothing serious. He could well still go for the Welsh National. It's desperately disappointing but the money that went on him wasn't mine - thank goodness."