Smad Place: emphatic Hennessy hero heads to Cheltenham in JanuaryPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Hennessy hero Smad set for Cotswold in January
King, whose flagship performer gelled beautifully at Newbury with Wayne Hutchinson, revealed there will be no Christmas competition for Trish Andrews' grey, who was short as 8-1 for the King George in the wake of his rhythmic Newbury success.
King said on Sunday: "He was looking very full of himself today. I'm not saying he had an easy race, but he did finish a fresh horse and came out nice and bright today, whereas last year he was completely nailed by the Hennessy.
"I would imagine he'll now go to Cheltenham on trials day for the Cotswold Chase. He definitely won't go to the King George, we'll skip that."
Bit of confidence
King, for whose stable the Hennessy Gold Cup win was an especially poignant one following the recent death of 20-year-old groom John Goggin in a road accident, added: "It's great to have a horse like Smad Place.
"He will have given Wayne a bit of confidence, and all of us here a bit of confidence. It's onwards and upwards."
Hutchinson himself tweeted on Sunday: "Thanks for overwhelming messages, touched. Big thanks to team back home! Tough week for all...and of course thank you Smad."
Smad Place's Cheltenham Gold Cup odds range from 10-1 to 16-1, the market headed by Vautour at a general 5-1, from Coneygree and Don Cossack in what could end up being the best Gold Cup for years.
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