THE Hennessy Gold Cup is a special race. It isn’t just about the 21 fences or 3m 2f slog in soft ground. It has the longest commercial sponsorship of any race in Britain and has been won by seven horses who have also grabbed Cheltenham Gold Cup glory. Thirty five runners have stood their ground for this year’s renewal on December 1 after yesterday’s forfeits, so where is the ante-post value for punters?
Burton Port and Tidal Bay head the weights with 11st 12lbs but Bobs Worth is the favourite and he ticks all the boxes. He won the RSA Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, isn’t too harshly treated and is trained by Nicky Henderson, who knows what it takes to prepare a Hennessy winner (Trabolgan). But Bobs Worth is as low as 7/2 and that offers little value. Henderson also has easy Ascot winner Roberto Goldback in the field but faces a dilemma about whether to run. If he does go he looks solid each-way value.
But the horse who stands out a mile is Hold On Julio. Again, he has the right profile: he will stay, loves soft ground and is on an upward curve. He also has the perfect weight (10st 8lb) and ran a cracker first time out at Cheltenham. He has been aimed at the race by the in-form Alan King and is currently available at around 9/1 and this looks good value.
There has already been ante-post cash for The Package after his Badger Ales victory at Wincanton but punters have done their money on this chap before in big-race gambles. Two ante-post springers have been Frisco Depot and Saint Are. Both have attracted plenty of support and are at the right end of the handicap.
But of more each-way interest could be last year’s winner Carruthers who is 25/1 and the 2010 Hennessy winner Diamond Harry (33/1), who has been out of sorts but loves Newbury and has slipped down the handicap.
Click here for the latest Hennessy ante-post market with Stan James.
*All ante-post prices accurate at time of publication. Prices are subject to change.