Trainer confirms Paddy Brennan booked for Weird Al Hennessy ride
With the deference of Noel Fehily to Paul Nicholls’ stable whilst Ruby Walsh recovers from his broken leg, Paddy Brennan has been given the chance to take the reins aboard Weird Al in an attempt to win the Hennessy Gold Cup.
Weird Al’s trainer Ian Williams confirmed on Wednesday that the jockey who won last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard Imperial Commander, will ride the 5/1 ante-post joint favourite for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
Fehily was aboard Weird Al for the horse’s last race at Carlisle in which he finished in a dead heat with the 2010 Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Little Josh, and had previously ridden the horse to victory twice at Cheltenham in 2009.
But Brennan was aboard Weird Al for his highest profile win yet in the race prior to Carlisle at Wetherby where Weird Al was sent off the 5/4 joint favourite with Knockara Beau.
With Brennan aboard, Weird Al beat his market rival by two and a half lengths to scoop the £17,637 first prize and the connections of Weird Al hope the pair can continue the winning combination in the Hennessy Gold Cup.
Despite being four pounds out of the weights because of Denman’s high rating, Williams believes that his prize asset has a decent chance despite the weights not being in his favour.
“Weird Al is not on a bad weight,” said Williams and the Newbury betting odds would seem to agree with the trainer.
The ante-post market places Denman and Weird Al at the top of the market with both 5/1 chances to win the Hennessy Gold Cup, followed in the market by Diamond Harry 6/1, Burton Port 8/1 and Pandorama 8/1.
But Madison Du Berlais is racing off a true weight and has been cut from 14/1 to 16/1 overnight to win the Hennessey Gold Cup.
Carruthers has a strong chance in the race and is priced at 12/1 to win the Hennessy Gold cup. See the ante-post Hennessy Gold Cup betting odds here.