A quick venture onto Oddschecker indicates that Houblon Des Obeaux is one of the best backed horses for the Hennessy Gold Cup, with Ladbrokes already trimming the price of the top weight into 25/1.
Reasons for this market support are surely a result of the weather forecast as few entries into the Hennessy will thrive in bottomless conditions as much as Venetia Williams’ seven-year-old.
It is also worth noting that the horse has won on its first start of the past two seasons, indicating that he goes well fresh, while Denman has proved on two occasions that top weight is not a barrier to success.
However, also at 25/1 in the Hennessy betting is Via Sundown and he ticks a lot of boxes.
One fact worth looking for when making a Hennessy shortlist are horses with proven stamina, meaning those with winning form over 3m, especially this year with the ground set to be so testing.
Meanwhile, it also helps if the horse is capable of stepping up into higher-graded races beyond handicap company.
Via Sundown has won on soft ground over 3m and it is significant that he still holds an entry in the Welsh National, which suggests that stamina is the horse’s strong point.
Trainer Gary Moore considered him for the RSA Chase at the last Cheltenham Festival after landing a Fontwell chase off a handicap mark of 134, so there is reason to believe that he is capable of mixing it in better company.
He was only raised 6lb for that success and has cleverly been allowed to retain this mark by making his seasonal reappearance over hurdles, which he won well, to blow away any summer cobwebs.
To conclude, Via Sundown is race fit, has no stamina issues and based on trainer comments seems capable of running to a higher mark than he is currently positioned.
These are the sorts of facts that combine to make a very tempting 25/1 shot, especially with there being every chance that the first four places will be paid each-way.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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