On Saturday Newbury's Hennesy Gold Cup was the feature of the day. A wide open contest, you could make cases for half the field. Mullins' Djakadam headed the market. Age knocked the confidence in the favourite, with punters looking for a more experienced chaser, the market suggested. Houblon Des Obeaux made a bold bid to pick up the prize for Venetia Williams & Aidan Coleman. In touch throughout, Houblon Des Obeaux went on with Many Clouds & Merry King to fight it out between the trio. Coleman was pegged back by Leighton Aspell on Many Clouds as he battled with Merry King for the line. Houblon Des Obeaux ran a huge race at 50/1 to finish up second after coming back at Merry King, but couldn't do enough to catch Many Clouds, who went on to win by 3 lengths. Jonjo O'Neill said of Merry King ''he ran a great race. Very pleased with him but we need to have a look at his wind''.
Richard Johnson had another cracking weekend landing a nicely priced treble at Newbury on Saturday. Particularly impressive was Philip Hobbs, Bertie Boru. Phone Home came over the last with momentum, going 8 lengths clear under Tom Scudamore. All the while, Johnson got to work on Bertie Boru from the back of the field to get up & pip Phone Home on the line.
I was excited to see Long Dog make his debut for Willie Mullins at Fairyhouse. A well fought second & impressive debut over hurdles, but couldn't do enough to keep Cooper & Marinero from scoring. one to watch for the future no doubt, as with pretty much all the Mullins' horses it seems at the moment.