Racing: Short measure a threat to the Hennessy field: Just 10 horses stand their ground for Saturday's big chase, but today a top Flat jockey sets out in pursuit of numerical perfection

AN UNWANTED footnote may be appended to the history of the Hennessy Gold Cup this weekend. If the harsh weather continues then there is a real danger that the race will be postponed or abandoned for the first time in its 37-year history; even if it goes ahead, it is likely to be contested by one of its smallest ever fields.

As expected, the Gold Cup winner Jodami and Carvill's Hill were the most illustrious names among those withdrawn from the pounds 50,000 chase at the five-day stage yesterday. There were 23 horses taken out and just 10 left standing, and some of those are likely to defect if the going becomes any faster.

Only twice in the last 26 runnings have there been fewer runners for the autumn's most prestigious long-distance handicap chase. On those occasions, firm ground contributed to only eight going to post for the victories of Approaching (1978) and Ghofar (1989); and the small fields in the mid-Sixties can be attributed to the intimidating presence of a horse called Arkle.

Of those remaining, the greatest doubts concern the heavily-backed Whispering Steel. Gordon Richards, his trainer, has warned that the seven-year-old will not take part if the ground is unsuitably fast.

Adrian Maguire, who brought out the best in the 40-1 winner Sibton Abbey last year, is likely to team up with Ireland's Cahervillahow. Maguire will replace Norman Williamson if that rider's appearance before the Jockey Club's Disciplinary Committee today for persistent whip offences results in a suspension of four days or more.

Based on the optimism of Cahervillahow's trainer, Mouse Morris, Maguire has been presented with another great opportunity. 'Cahervillahow lost his form last season,' Morris said. 'But seems as well as he was two years ago when he ran great races in the Hennessy and the Whitbread. He is a good-ground horse and the handicapper has given me a great chance.'

Equally well suited by the ground is Black Humour, who now shares favouritism in most lists. His rider, Graham Bradley, yesterday decided to accept a seven-day riding ban imposed by stewards in Ireland at the weekend for making 'insufficient effort'. The ban rules him out from 29 November to 5 December.

Fahd Salman is to sponsor the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and name it after his best horse, Generous, winner of the race in 1990. Prince Fahd will cease sponsorship of the Newgate Stud Middle Park Stakes, which he has backed for four years.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz