Racing: Quality field for run of the Mill

IT IS time for the Hennessy and the great images of the National Hunt season: early-morning frost on top of the fences, warmth provided by braziers and hipflasks in the public areas and courageous men and beasts on the racecourse.

They call the Hennessy the first of the jumping Classics and some of the names that have won the contest are stirring to anyone with a soul for the winter game. Play around with the likes of Mill House and Arkle, and, more recently, Burrough Hill Lad and One Man. If there does not appear to be a potential monster in this Saturday's Hennessy, that detracts from the race not a jot. It is never without merit. And, once again, there are strands of interest aplenty for Newbury's 39th Hennessy Gold Cup.

The favourite, Teeton Mill, may leave one of his shoes behind if successful at the weekend as he is the Cinderella of the field. The former hunter- chaser sprang to prominence at Wincanton earlier this month and now attempts to establish Venetia Williams as the second woman after Jenny Pitman to win the great race. He has a profile extraordinarily similar to Coome Hill, one of his opponents on Saturday and the Hennessy winner two years ago.

Teeton Mill is as low as 5-2, a price which makes his trainer stiff. "It's terrifying, especially as the next horse is 8-1," Williams said yesterday. "He won the Horse & Hound Cup nicely against other hunter chasers at Stratford last season, but this is a whole new ball game. Not only are we against handicappers, but they are some of the best in the country."

The ground is expected to suit Teeton Mill. At the moment it is good with good to firm patches, but Richard Pridham, the clerk of the course, reports that the angels are on our side and showers will be prevalent up to Saturday morning before glorious weather greets racegoers in the afternoon. God must have great bunches of members badges dangling from his binoculars.

This predicted terrain will also suit Coome Hill himself, and the Cornish- trained gelding appeared a reinvigorated figure when he was victorious on his reappearance. "I'm very pleased with the way he went at Ascot and he has worked well since," Walter Dennis, the nine-year-old's trainer, said yesterday. "I'm not the slightest bit worried about the theory that horses which have had a lay-off run well in their first race back and then disappoint next time.

"I generally never fear anyone, but you would have to watch out for the horses at the bottom of the handicap."

Foremost among these is The Toiseach, an impressive winner of the John Doyle Chase at Aintree on Saturday. The seven-year-old has recovered from those exertions and was last night confirmed as a Hennessy runner by James Fanshawe. Richard Dunwoody has been booked for the ride.

"The main thing is that he is never going to be so well handicapped again with just a 4lb penalty," Fanshawe said. "He has got that lovely relentless stride and rhythm that works so well on a galloping track [like Newbury]."

Among the early bookmaking skirmishes yesterday, William Hill took the blade to Fine Thyne (12-1 from 20-1) and Ireland's Boss Doyle (7-1 from 10-1), who was second to Strath Royal in Wetherby's Charlie Hall Chase last month. "The horse is fine," Mouse Morris, his trainer, reported yesterday. "I was pleased with his performance at Wetherby, but I would be disappointed if he didn't improve from that running. Good ground on the day would be a bonus for us.

"Boss Doyle leaves for England on Wednesday and he'll stay at Richard Hannon's for a couple of days." And if he can survive the nights at East Everleigh Stables then Boss Doyle will indeed deserve the Hennessy. When you leave Hannon's company for home, the direction tends to be a tad haphazard. He will be familiar with the product of Saturday's sponsors.

HENNESSY GOLD CUP H'CAP CHASE (3m 2f 110yds)

Horse (Trainer/weight) Coral Wm Hill Ladb. Stanley Tote

Teeton Mill (Miss V Williams/10st5lb) 5-2 11-4 11-4 11-4 5-2

Boss Doyle (M Morris(Irl)/11st5lb) 7-1 7-1 6-1 15-2 8-1

The Toiseach (J Fanshawe/10st13lb) 6-1 6-1 5-1 13-2 8-1

Coome Hill (W Dennis/11st8lb) 8-1 8-1 9-1 8-1 9-1

Seven Towers (Mrs M Reveley/10st12lb) 8-1 8-1 8-1 8-1 10-1

Eudipe (M Pipe/10st11lb) 14-1 12-1 14-1 14-1 12-1

Fiddling The Facts (N Henderson/10st7lb) 14-1 14-1 14-1 14-1 14-1

Call It A Day (D Nicholson/10st12lb) 16-1 14-1 16-1 12-1 12-1

Sparky Gale (C Parker/10st9lb) 16-1 14-1 16-1 14-1 12-1

Fine Thyne (Mrs A J Perrett/10st1lb) 14-1 12-1 12-1 20-1 11-1

Baronet (D Nicholson/10st5lb) 25-1 25-1 20-1 25-1 25-1

Addington Boy (N Richards/11st8lb) 20-1 33-1 25-1 25-1 33-1

Him Of Praise (O Sherwood)/10st) 25-1 33-1 20-1 33-1 25-1

Indian Tracker (M Pipe/10st10lb) 20-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 25-1

Mahler (N Twiston-Davies/10st9lb) 20-1 25-1 33-1 20-1 20-1

Sail By The Stars (H Daly/10st5lb) 16-1 25-1 33-1 25-1 20-1

Senor El Betrutti (Mrs S Nock/11st10lb) DBT 33-1 33-1 33-1 33-1

The Last Fling (Mrs S Smith/9st13lb) 25-1 33-1 33-1 33-1 25-1

Avro Anson (Miss J Camacho/10st6lb) 40-1 66-1 66-1 66-1 40-1

Danger Baby (P Bowen/9st11lb) 40-1 66-1 50-1 50-1 40-1

Each-way a quarter the odds, places 1, 2, 3, 4 (Newbury, Saturday)

Minimum weight on the day: 10st.

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'