One of the best handicaps of the jumps season is the Hennessy. Run this year on Saturday the 26th of November, it is a proving ground for those who have big ambitions for the remainder of the season. In recent years, Gold Cup winners Denman and Bob’s Worth have been successful as well as Grand National winner, Many Clouds. The race has traditionally favoured second season chasers but here are the trends you need to know to find the 2016 winner. Our Channel 4 tips and previews are on site.
- YOUNGER LEGS PREVAIL – As above, the race is well known to favour those who were novices the previous season. Only one winner in the last decade has not been in the 6-8yo range and that was ‘The Tank’ Denman. This is a sizeable negative for past winners Smad Place and Triolo D’Alene to overcome
- WEIGHT ISN’T AN ISSUE – As with other ‘marquee handicaps’ such as the Grand National, the compression of the weights has helped those who carry more. In 11 years from 1991, only a single winner carried more than 11 stone to victory. In the last 11 runnings, only 2 winners have carried less than 11 stone to victory.
- RATING THE WINNER – All of the last 10 winners have all had an official rating of 145+. Vyta Du Roc is as short as 8/1 2nd favourite yet only carries a mark of 143, a sizeable negative.
- STAYING POWER – Just one of the last 10 winners had not already had a 3 mile+ win over fences to their credit. That was Madison Du Berlais in 2008 but he had been placed in the 2007 Hennessy when 4th to Denman,
- HEAD OF THE MARKET – 8 of the last 10 winners were priced at 10/1 or shorter. For all that this is a big field handicap, those favoured in the betting are the way to go.
- TRAINERS TO FOLLOW – Both Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have trained 2 winners each in the last decade plus a further 8 places between them. Irish raiders have 0 winners and 2 places from 22 runners in the last decade.
- RSA FORM GUIDE – Trabolgan (2005), Denman (2007) and Bob’s Worth (2012) all won the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival before following up in the Hennessy 8 months later – Blaklion tries to continue the good record in 2016
- CHASE THE PACE – 9 of the last 10 winners (Many Clouds the exception) raced on or tracked the pace. The fences come up thick and fast at Newbury and it is a race where it pays to have a high cruising speed.
With Smad Place likely to head the weights, there are going to be very few who tick the over 11 stone trend which will make the 2016 running of the race an interesting test for the trends. Those who fit the most trends are, Native River, Un Temps Pour Tout and Blaklion towards the head of the market while Virak ticks boxes as an outsider with an each way chance. Read our Hennessy Gold Cup Preview for a full summary of the race with our tip to follow.