Smad Place shines in Hen­nessy romp

The Herald - Sport - - RACING -

SMAD Place wowed the New­bury faith­ful with a stun­ning vic­tory in the Hen­nessy Gold Cup on Satur­day.

At­tack­ing each fence with great venom, the 7-1 shot had plenty of his ri­vals in trou­ble long be­fore the busi­ness end as Wayne Hutchin­son con­tin­ued to turn the screw at the head of af­fairs.

Run­ner-up Theatre Guide stayed on dourly from the rear of the field, but he was in a dif­fer­ent county to the win­ner and was beaten out of sight by 12 lengths.

Trainer Alan King said: “We hoped for a good run but that’s taken my breath away.

“He loves to be up there and he de­served to win a big race as he’d been knock­ing on the door.”

Smad Place’s vic­tory also had added poignancy for King af­ter Bar­bury Cas­tle sta­ble lad John Gog­gin died last week fol­low­ing a car crash.

Thistle­crack is around the 10-1 mark to win the Ladbrokes World Hur­dle at Chel­tenham af­ter he showed pluck and class to win the bet365 Long Dis­tance Hur­dle.

Trainer Colin Tiz­zard said: “We thought we’d give him a cou­ple of runs over hur­dles to see if he is good enough to chal­lenge for the World Hur­dle.

“On that run, he is good enough and will go to As­cot now (Long Walk Hur­dle).”

War­ren Greatrex said of the third-placed and reign­ing World Hur­dle king Cole Har­den: “It’s all about March (Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val) so it’s good to get the first one out of the way.”

Gavin Shee­han was aboard Cole Har­den, but the rest of the day could not have gone any bet­ter for the jockey as he left the Berk­shire cir­cuit with a tre­ble.

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