Djakadam: youngster has had only three starts over fencesPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Hennessy hotpot Djakadam to face 18
HENNESSY GOLD CUP hotpot Djakadam, the youngster who has had only three starts over fences, will face 18 rivals at Newbury on Saturday when he bids to become the first five-year-old to win one of Britain's most beloved staying chases.
Trained by Willie Mullins and the mount of Ruby Walsh, Djakadam has been the buzz horse in the Hennessy and his price has collapsed from double figures last week into a general 4-1.
His opposition includes last year's winner and runner-up, Triolo D'Alene and Rocky Creek, plus Many Clouds, Smad Place and Fingal Bay who are all handy in the betting.
The four horses not declared for the Hennessy were Hadrian's Approach, Black Thunder, Victors Serenade and Edmund Kean, while Sign Of A Victory and Purple Bay came out of the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, the other big jumps race on Saturday.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Irving heads the betting with the sponsors at 4-5 for that, with Arctic Fire - another Mullins raider - 7-2.
Updated cards to follow ...