HENNESSY GOLD CUP CHASE (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) 3m2f110y

TIMEFORM The Druids Nephew 176 p Djakadam 173 p Midnight Prayer 169 Monbeg Dude 169 Smad Place 168 p Many Clouds 167 + FSF Annacotty 163 Via Sundown 160 Unioniste 159 Many Clouds 159 Merry King 159 The Druids Nephew 157 Annacotty Consistent novice chaser; successful twice at Kempton Park last season. Effective from two and a half to three-miles, acts on good to soft through to heavy. Returned to action when third, with a good effort, behind dead-heaters Theatre Guide and Fox Appeal. Sure to improve and likes to race up with the pace. Ballynagour Bolted up at the Cheltenham Festival in the Byrne Group Handicap, before upping his game at Aintree and Punchestown. Handles soft and very soft ground though worth noting his improvement came on good ground. Stays two and three-quarter miles with this trip an unknown. (Sire has several decent long-distance chasers on his CV) Has broken blood vessels in the past and goes well fresh. Djakadam Exciting second season chaser attracting support from 10/1 to his current odds. Effective over two-miles five-furlongs on soft through to heavy. Jumping and travelling well, Djakadam landed steeply over the fourth last fence, paying the price. He looked sure to be involved in the finish. Collateral form suggests he is potentially well treated on a mark of 147. Sire imparts stamina, while dam stayed two and quarter miles when racing. Reported to have improved and strengthened over the summer, he has been backed at long odds for the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Fingal Bay Returned from injury in February to win handicap hurdles Exeter and Cheltenham. Stays three-miles and acts on good through to heavy. Best run over fences came when second to Dynaste (Now rated on 167) conceding 5lb. If Fingal Bay reproduces his best form, back over the larger obstacles, his handicap mark of 153 is attractive. Houblon Des Obeaux A game and talented chaser whose best RPR’s have come at Ascot on soft ground. Often makes mistakes but frequently carried out on his shield. Sixth in the race last season off a 3lb lower mark. Won on seasonal reappearance in 2012 and 2013; best on good to soft through to heavy. Le Reve Improving staying chaser that is best good to soft or soft. Raised in class while all his wins have come going right-handed. Many Clouds Improving second season chaser that recoded a game win on return to action at Carlisle. Appears best on soft/heavy ground with four of his six wins coming right-handed. Stays three-miles though just a suspicion he may prove best at a slightly shorter trip. 7lb higher than at Carlisle. Merry King Useful staying handicap chaser that won the Welsh Grand National in 2013. Runs well at both Chepstow and Cheltenham appreciating a galloping track. Creditable return to action at Chepstow and will appreciate ground conditions that bring his stamina into play. May find a few with a bit more toe in the latter stages. Midnight Prayer Solid staying chaser that won the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Midnight Prayer has won on good through to heavy though may find a few with a better turn of foot. Monbeg Theatre Solid staying chaser that won the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Midnight Prayer has won on good through to heavy though may find a few with a better turn of foot. Rocky Creek Finished second last year off a 5lb lower mark. However, he has the benefit of a recent run this time round with several of his stablechums improving for their seasonal reappearance. Stays well, handles good through to heavy; just once out of the first three (Grand National) in nine chase starts. Smad Place Following an unfortunate UR at Huntingdon, Smad Place won chases at Exeter and Newbury before finishing second in the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival. Goes well fresh, handles good to soft through to heavy; looks sure to be thereabouts when it matters. The Druids Nephew Made a winning start for his current trainer at Huntingdon. The Druid’s Nephew followed up with a fine run behind Sam Winner at Cheltenham. His chance being compromised by racing too freely; Mr Geraghty doing well to get him round following several hairy leaps. If he learns to settle, he can progress further. Soft ground suits. Triolo D’Alene Stayed on strongly to land this race in 2013. Disappointed in the Gold Cup and Grand National and runs off a 10lb higher mark. Effective on good to soft and returns following corrective surgery on his breathing. Unioniste Following a good start to the 13/14 season, Unioniste disappointed when upped in grade for the Lexus Chase. Third in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster, he disappointed at Aintree in April. He will start the season on a fair handicap mar, handles a variety of ground conditions, and stays three-miles one-furlong. Appears best on galloping tracks and has a course win to his name Via Sundown Consistent chaser/hurdler (stays three-miles) thought best on soft/heavy ground. Has the scope for improvement and will need that being raised in class. What A Warrior This fellow has improved 20lb in the care of his new trainer. Battled on gamely to land the United House Chase at Ascot but faces a stiff task from a 7lb higher. His winning profile suggests he may prove best on a sharper track. Wychwoods Brook Lightly raced for an eight-year-old. Won the Peter Marsh Handicap at Haydock Park in January on heavy ground. Returned to action with a promising third in a two and a half-mile novice hurdle at Worcester. Stays well and should be running on when others have waved the white flag.