Fun fact.. the meeting, which was established in 1957 as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, was initially staged at Cheltenham. Only in 1960, was it then transferred to Newbury where the race which we have all become so familiar with took place. I'm sure a few of you may have known that, although for those of you that didn't it may well come in handy at a pub quiz one day (mark my word).
This Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase (ran over 3 miles and 2 1/2 furlongs) is open to horses aged four years and older. Perhaps most notably, it is a very good indicator on who we might see in some of the Cheltenham Festival races next March. In fact, the race has been won by eight horses which have also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Most recently, Bobs Worth was the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013.
What’s more, the legendary Many Clouds became the first horse to win the Hennessy Gold Cup as well as the Grand National, in 2014 and 2015 respectively. An impressive feat which saw this great horse rack up an impressive £928,000 in total career prize money!
Newbury itself is one racecourse to get excited about. With rich racing history in the town dating back to 1805, Newbury racecourse wasn’t opened until another 100 years later. The Jockey Club had laid down strict qualifications for the opening of new racecourses and following a proposal of opening a new racecourse from John Porter's, his plans were rejected several times. It was only due to a chance meeting with King Edward VII which brought about a further application with the King's support and was eventually was approved by the Jockey Club.
So who’re some of the standout eyecatchers at this early stage? Well, Total Recall leads with the bookies at 5/1. He finished last season very strong with an impressive win at Limerick. This horse is definitely the one to beat.
However, you might just want to keep an eye on Whisper. A very consistent contender who again finished the season strongly, placing or winning all 5 of his previous races. At current odds of 10/1 this is my tip for the day!
Want to experience the action in person? Why not get your tickets here with Racing Breaks.