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Fingal Bay Newbury 31/12/2011

Fingal Bay: Hobbs hopeful of Hennessy chances

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

In-form Hobbs gunning for second Hennessy

PHILIP HOBBS sent out his 11th winner in as many days on Monday and the in-form trainer is hopeful about the chances of his Fingal Bay in Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.


A total of 23 remain in the weekend feature for which Fingal Bay can be backed at 8-1 to give the trainer a second win in the race having been successful with What's Up Boys in 2001.

"He's in very good order and he is just a high class horse," said Hobbs. "I'm not in the slightest bit concerned about the ground. Soft would be grand and although you never really want heavy, he would cope with it better than most.

"This has been the target for a long time. I don't think the handicapper has been particularly lenient, but he's on a workable mark."

Sam Winner, who had been a 12-1 chance, was the most notable horse taken out of the race on Monday, but the horse who chased him home at Cheltenham is very much on course to take his chance.

The Druids Nephew was beaten a length and a half into second that day and his trainer Neil Mulholland said: "He's a lovely horse who joined us from Andy Turnell for this season. He got off the mark for us straight away at Huntingdon and we felt he could be a Hennessy horse.

"The winner, Sam Winner, has gone up 9lb and we could have run that one closer as we told Barry Geraghty to hold on to him to see if he would get the trip when he could have made his move sooner."

Quoted in this week's Trainer File in the Racing & Football Outlook, Mulholland continued: "He ended up getting the trip well, but the slightly shorter distance will be to his advantage at Newbury on Saturday and he has to be an each-way contender. He can go quite a way up the ladder."

The going at Newbury remained soft, with heavy places on the hurdle track on Monday. The forecast is dry Tuesday before patchy rain on Wednesday, becoming heavier in the evening.

Get the lowdown on the rest of Mulholland's team in this week's Racing & Football Outlook - out on Tuesday

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