Explaining the decision, a spokesman for The Winning Line, Teeton Mill's owners, said: "While we hope the handicapper doesn't overreact, he will never be able to run off this mark in the future. Even with a 4lb penalty he will get in on 10st. Norman Williamson jumped off him on Saturday and said `Newbury here we come!' so who are we to disagree? However, Teeton Mill's long-term aim still remains the Grand National."
Teeton Mill, trained by Venetia Williams, was making his handicap debut at Wincanton, having previously won five of his six starts in hunter chases.
Tony McCoy will discover early next week whether his latest whip indiscretion will rule him out of the Hennessy. His participation is in jeopardy as he faces a lengthy suspension. McCoy was referred to the Jockey Club disciplinary committee after being found guilty of using his whip with excessive frequency on Bamapour at Fontwell on Monday. The champion jump jockey has been suspended for a total of 15 days for whip offences since 4 April and his latest offence has triggered his referral to the disciplinary committee.
The Hennessy is one of the few big races to have eluded McCoy. If available, he is likely to ride Cyfor Malta - whom he is also due to ride in the Murphy's Gold Cup at Cheltenham this Saturday.
Mandys Mantino was well-backed for the Murphy's yesterday. Coral cut Josh Gifford's charge to 6-1 from 7-1. Mandys Mantino has also been shortened to 6-1 from 8-1 by William Hill. However, Gifford is concerned that Mandys Mantino's stamina may let him down. The eight-year-old finished third in the two-mile Arkle Trophy at the course in March and was third on his reappearance over the same trip at Ascot.
But Gifford is worried the step up to two and a half miles may not suit Mandys Mantino, who weakened in the closing stages when second to Mahler over two miles and five furlongs at Cheltenham in April. He said: "The trip might be a problem. He didn't quite get it last time, though he did have a lot of weight that day and it was at the end of the season. But Mandys Mantino is a definite runner and is very well. I was pleased with how he ran and handled the ground at Ascot. Philip Hide rides."
Kim Bailey is worried the weather may hinder Bertone, best on a sound surface. He said: "A lot depends on the ground. If it starts drying up he'll run well but if we get any more rain it's not going to help him. He's definitely a better horse on fast ground but there's not much else to run him in so he'll run."
Bertone finished second to Super Tactics at Wincanton last month and Bailey added: "I was pleased with his performance and this is his ideal trip. He's won at Cheltenham but he's high in the handicap."
MURPHY'S GOLD CUP
C H L T
Cyfor Malta 15-8 2-1 9-4 9-4
Mandys Mantino 6-1 6-1 6-1 13-2
Queen Of Spades 7-1 8-1 8-1 13-2
Simply Dashing 9-1 10-1 8-1 8-1
Senor El Betrutti 9-1 10-1 8-1 11-1
Challenger Du Luc 12-1 10-1 10-1 11-1
Papillon 9-1 12-1 8-1 13-2
Addington Boy 16-1 16-1 16-1 16-1
Dr Leunt 16-1 16-1 16-1 11-1
20-1 and upwards others
Horse C H L S T
Teaatral 4-1 7-2 7-2 4-1 4-1
Just Nip 4-1 4-1 4-1 9-2 4-1
Red Curate 100-30 9-2 9-2 4-1 9-2
Soloman 9-2 9-2 4-1 5-1 4-1
Rainwatch 11-2 5-1 7-1 9-2 5-1
Ela Agapi Mou 7-1 8-1 8-1 7-1 15-2
Sun Surfer 14-1 14-1 12-1 14-1 14-1
Supreme Lady 20-1 16-1 12-1 16-1 16-1
Teinein 25-1 16-1 25-1 20-1 25-1
Each-way, a fifth the odds, places 1, 2, 3
C Coral, H William Hill, L Ladbrokes, S Stanley, T ToteReuse content