First Lieutenant (centre): finished second to Kauto Stone on last startPICTURE: Getty Images
Bobs and Julio uneasy at head of Hennessy market
BOBS WORTH and Hold On Julio sit uneasily at the head of the market for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday as First Lieutenant was cut for success.
Favourite Bobs Worth was 9-2 with several firms on Friday night and no shorter than 4-1 for victory in the Hennessy having been 7-2 on Friday morning.
Hold On Julio was also drifting for the £150,000 Grade 3 with Coral and Betfred knocking his price out to 9-1 (from 7) although he remained 6-1 with Ladbrokes.
The price of First Lieutenant was heading the other way however as he was cut to as short as 8-1 (from 12) by bet365 to give Ireland a first win in the race since Bright Highway in 1980.
The seven-year-old, who was slashed to 9-1 (from 14) for success by BetVictor, was second to Kauto Stone in the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal on his last start and trainer Mouse Morris said: "He's in super form. Hopefully, the ground won't get any slower than advertised as he doesn't like it too testing."
Backers of The Package face an anxious night after jockey Timmy Murphy was taken to hospital for x-rays on his back after a fall at Newbury on Friday.
Speaking at 7pm on Friday, Murphy's agent Chris Broad said: "I haven't spoken to Timmy since he went to hospital. He called me from one of the paramedic's phones when he was in the ambulance and he was in a lot of discomfort."
After concerns about potentially testing going at Newbury on Saturday, the chase course was described as good to soft and the hurdles track soft, good to soft in places. Ruby Walsh called it "holding" after riding in the first at the course on Friday.