Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Bookies Fear Djakadam Result

The betting suggests a wide-open running of this year's Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday, but William Hill fear another Mullins’ favourite could leave them counting the costs.


Djakadam is the one the bookies want to beat and is 4-1 favourite with William Hill. The Ricci-owned chaser was going well when coming down in the JLT in March and hasn’t been seen since.


“Djakadam is the worst liability for us but there is some momentum behind Smad Place and he could be an equally poor result by race time,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


Smad Place has been the best supported in the list since Thursday morning, shortening to 7-1 from 15-2. There has also been interest in Unioniste with William Hill, now 16-1 from 25-1 over the last 24 hours.


Philip Hobbs' yard is in red-hot form and Fingal Bay looks one of the chief protagonists at odds of 15-2. Richard Johnson is 4-6 favourite in the 'Without McCoy' Jockey's Championship betting and will partner Fingal Bay, while the returning Champion AP McCoy is on board Merry King, a 14-1 contender trained by Jonjo O’Neill.


McCoy is playing catch-up in his bid to break 289 winners in a single National Hunt campaign and is 7-1 to topple his own record this season.


Meanwhile in the Fighting Fifth there’s significant interest for the Paul Nicholls-trained favourite, Irving.


“It’s not quite a one horse book with some support for Arctic Fire, but we expect plenty of Saturday punters to stick Irving in as a banker in their accumulators and it could be a bumper result for us if he’s turned over,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.




Hennessy Gold Cup: 4-1 Djakadam, 7-1 Smad Place, 15-2 Fingal Bay, 8-1 Many Clouds, 9-1 Rocky Creek, 10-1 The Druids Nephew, 14-1 Merry King, 16-1 Unioniste, 18-1 Ballynagour, 20-1 Midnight Prayer, Wychwoods Brook, 25-1 Annacotty, Houblon Des Obeaux, Le Reve, Monbeg Dude, Triolo D’Alene, What A Warrior, 33-1 Via Sundown, Vino Griego, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4)


Fighting Fifth Hurdle: 4-5 Irving, 11-4 Arctic Fire, 10-3 Aurore D’Estruval, 14-1 Sea Lord, 50-1 Swaledale Lad, 500-1 Volcanic Jack, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2)


2014-15 National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship – Betting Without AP McCoy: 4-6 Richard Johnson, 6-4 Sam Twiston-Davies, 8-1 Tom Scudamore, (Win Only)


AP McCoy To Ride More Than 289 Winners In the 2014/15 National Hunt Season: 7-1