'Show goes on' as Nicky Henderson looks to Hennessy Gold Cup
Nicky Henderson is hoping to have at least two runners as he bids to lift the Hennessy Gold Cup for a fourth time at Newbury on November 26 on the back of what has been an emotional few days for the Seven Barrows trainer.
Triolo D'Alene, who provided Henderson with his last winner of the prestigious staying handicap chase in 2013 after Trabolgan in 2005 and Bobs Worth in 2012, is set to lead his challenge.
O n a day when he insisted the "show goes on" following a weekend that pulled at the heartstrings, Henderson was pleased with Triolo D'Alene and Vyta Du Roc after the pair worked on the Berkshire course on Tuesday.
Henderson, who announced the retirement of Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham on Sunday and not long later lost Simonsig when he broke a leg in the Shloer Chase, said: "Triolo D'Alene is definitely going for the race again and I would like to run Vyta Du Roc if he gets in.
"I have left in Hadrian's Approach, too, but he may be too low in the weights to make the field.
"Both Triolo D'Alene and Vyta Du Roc worked well this morning. That will have helped them a lot because we were held up by the dry spell.
"The weights will probably go up and the race is looking open and you can see all sorts of horses that will be competitive, but you are never going to find a soft Hennessy - everybody wants to win it.
"I am hoping for lovely ground for Triolo D'Alene, who does not want it soft. I love Triolo and it would be great to see him come back and win the Hennessy again.
"He is in good form and he has had a good preparation. I would have liked to have got a race into him beforehand but that is why we have come here.
"Vyta Du Roc looks well and I think he has a very realistic chance. He has the profile of an up-and-coming chaser and that is the sort you need for the Hennessy."
He added: "We've got to dust ourselves down and the show goes on, it's not easy but everyone has been brilliant.
"We've got to be ready for the Hennessy and there's a lot of big races over the weekend."
Wiltshire handler Neil Mulholland also took advantage of the opportunity as he worked his Hennessy hope Carole's Destrier with The Young Master, who is on target for the Becher Chase at Aintree on December 3.
"We were very happy with Carole's Destrier, but we would like to see a bit more rain before the race," said Mulholland.
"James King, who rode him today, was pleased and that work will hopefully have put the horse right.
"You need to stay and jump in the Hennessy and Carole's Destrier won the London National last year over further and is by no means a slouch, but you need a lot of luck on the day for races like this.
"The Young Master, who won the bet365 Chase on his final start last season, has the long-term aim of the Grand National and he will go for the Becher Chase, over the National fences.
"Carole's Destrier's weight is likely to go up to 10st 8lb which would be brilliant news for us as it will enable Noel Fehily to take the ride - he cannot do 10st 4lb.
"The bet365 at the end of last season did not suit him but thankfully we had the winner of that race. You would hope the Hennessy would suit him - stamina is his forte and he jumps."
The Colin Tizzard-trained Native River is 5-1 favourite with bet365 after 42 horses remained in the Hennessy at the latest scratching stage.
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Source: At The Races