I was lucky enough to have been at Newbury yesterday afternoon to witness one of the most remarkable performances seen on a British racecourse for many years. Despite having to carry the welterwight of 11st 12lbs on very testing ground in the ultra-competitive Hennessy Gold Cup, Denman (above) annihilated the opposition, galloping to a hugely impressive 11l success. I arrived at Newbury undecided on what to back for the big race, but when I saw Denman in the paddock, my mind was made up. I have seldom seen a horse looking in such fantastic condition in the parade ring.
The sky really is the limit for Denman after yesterday's incredible performance, especially when you consider that his trainer Paul Nicholls insists he'll come on for the run. Don't be put off by the traditionally poor win record many recent Hennessy winners have had after their success; that's because many of them won the race off a low weight and couldn't cope with the handicapper's reassessment. So long as Denman, stable companion Kauto Star and Exotic Dancer can get to Prestbury Park safe and sound on 14th March, we look to be in for a classic Gold Cup.
p.s. I'm sure 'Grease Monkey' a London-based commenter on the Racing Post 'Chatroom' site is pleased he used a pseudonym after leaving this comment before the Hennessy.
"Tim Henman's got more chance of winning Wimbledon in a strait-jacket than Denman has of winning the Hennessy".
That has to be a candidate for one of the worst sporting predictions of all time.