Racing: The Toiseach ready to show authority

The former top jump jockey Steve Smith Eccles analyses today's Hennessy Gold Cup
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The Independent Online
Coome Hill: Showed himself as good as ever when scoring an emotional victory under Jamie Osborne at Ascot. Stays, and jumps for fun. Sure to run a big race under top weight.

Addington Boy: A tall order to win this race on reappearance. He will not appreciate the rain-softened ground and is one to avoid.

Boss Doyle: Improving Irish raider who has bags of ability but his jumping does occasionally let him down.

Call It A Day: Will strip fitter for his run behind Court Melody at Sandown but lacks finishing speed.

Seven Towers: Out-and-out stayer who will be plugging on when many have cried enough. However, he may be caught flat-footed at the business end.

Eudipe: Quirky character who has ability but certainly is not one to trust. He could run well if he is in the right frame of mind.

Sparky Gayle: Sound jumper but gives the impression that this three-and- a-quarter mile trip will stretch his stamina.

Mahler: Soft ground would improve his chance but there appear to be a few too good for him.

Fiddling The Facts: Her stable is in form and Nicky Henderson has a knack for getting them ready first time but this mare needs to improve dramatically.

Indian Tracker: Unlikely to make the frame, even on his best form.

Avro Anson: Pulled up on his reappearance at Wetherby and is probably past his sell-by date.

Sail By The Stars: Up against it on all known form.

The Toiseach: Impressive winner at Ascot last weekend when not fully wound up. Looks to be a star in the making and sure to run well.

Teeton Mill: Worthy ante-post favourite after his Wincanton warm-up and jumps cleanly enough to stretch them all.

Fine Thyne: Decent on his day but lack of a recent run is a worry.

Him Of Praise: Needs to run out of his skin to lay up with the major players.

The Last Fling: Outclassed.

Conclusion: Teeton Mill and THE TOISEACH make the most appeal from the bottom end of the handicap. I ride The Toiseach in a lot of his work and he could not go into the race with a better chance. I expect him to get the better of a duel with Teeton Mill, while the 1996 Hennessy winner, Coome Hill, looks capable of playing a part under a welter burden.