Bobs Worth helped championship trainer Nicky Henderson land a second Hennessy Gold Cup crown last year and the esteemed saddler will be double-handed in the upcoming renewal.
Hadrian’s Approach and Triolo D’Alene are Henderson’s two charges for this year’s Newbury showpiece held over 3m2f.
And it’s the former who could emerge victorious with Ladbrokes offering odds of 10/1 about the six-year-old.
Some onlookers have been surprised by retained rider Barry Geraghty’s decision to take the mount of Triolo D’Alene ahead of Hadrian’s Approach.
But that move shouldn’t dampen enthusiasm for the son of High Chaparrel with Nico de Boinville’s 5lb allowance and various formlines providing strong claims.
Horses in their second season over fences have traditionally fared well in the Hennessy with Denman in 2007, Diamond Harry two years later and Bobs Worth all triumphant having been successful novices.
Hadrian’s Approach could join that illustrious list of stars following a tasty score on his chasing debut last season, defeating the likes of recent Grade 2 winner Rolling Aces.
A failure to win a race since shouldn’t be too much of a concern given notable performances when stepped up in class, including an RSA Chase-third behind 7/1 Hennessy joint-favourite Lord Windermere.
However, should Geraghty’s decision be vindicated then the 14/1 on offer for a Triolo D’Alene victory offers a tempting alternative.
His hat-trick bid was thwarted by the impressive Houblon Des Obeaux last time out but the French-bred charge has campaigned well over a similar distance to the Hennessy trip and can’t be ruled out entirely.
Rocky Creek and the aforementioned Lord Windermere rightly head the market having seen off a few of their Newbury rivals before.
With only two winners in the previous 10 runnings going off at double-figure odds their respective claims make even more appeal.
However, there are enough lively outsiders in this race to suggest that the formbook could be about to be overturned.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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