2009 Hennessy Gold Cup Trends

Short post, dear reader, but a good one (I hope).

I believe that I've found the winner of the 2009 Hennessy, and I'm quite confident about that too.

The trends point to the same two horses over and over again:

- 9 out of the last ten winners were 6 or 7 years old

- 9 out of ten had run once this season or were making their seasonal debut

- Of the four seasonal debutantes, three won their last race last season and the other was second in the Bet365 Gold Cup as a novice

- 8 out of the ten had between four and six chase runs (the other two had 16 and 29 (!) runs!)

- Seven of the last eight carried 10-12 or more, but... the one who didn't - Celestial Gold in 2004 - carried 10-05 when the topweight lugged 11-10 and the next in carried fully eleven pounds less).

It's a similar story this year, with Denman spotting twelve pounds and more to the rest of the field. With that in mind, I'm happy to relax the weight criterion.

So, the above point squarely to:

Killyglen (Nap), whose five runs over fences and going / distance preferences make him primed for a massive run; and,

What A Friend (Next Best), whose four runs and three wins also indicate a bold show is likely.

The one slight negative about the latter is that Paul Nicholls' horses have been needing the run this season, so his match fitness must be taken on trust.

Cappa Bleu is respected, but should have done better first time in a novice chase and, despite his reputation and the respect I have for his connections, I'll overlook him in favour of Killy and the Friend.

So there it is. I'm pretty strong on Killyglen, and take What A Friend to give him a race if fully tuned up on debut.

Denman? I love him but expect he might pull up. Ceding almost a stone and more with a dicky ticker on soft ground is a massive request of the former champ.

Good luck.


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24 replies
  1. Jeff J says:

    Yeah,well done Matt,it might have been a really good idea if you were able to point us in the direction of “Best Prices(s)” to be had also.

  2. Sanjay Sharma says:

    Don’t agree. Barbers Shop has been laid out for the race and is a good thing. I’m on ante-post at 12/1.

  3. william says:


  4. Paul says:

    I was looking at this earlier in the week and had a feeling you’d say Killyglen Matt. Claude Duval gave it a glorious write-up last weekend too.

    The Nicholls horses aren’t needing a run though – maybe a month ago, but not now. Every winner he’s had in the last 14 days won first time out, so it’s actually more of a positive than a negative when they haven’t had a run.

    He’s just had another couple today and both of those won first time out too….

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Good point Paul. I’m a bit out of touch on the day to day goings on – only tracking my own service and a couple of others at the moment, so hadn’t noticed that the Nicholls’ string were buzzing again. I reckon both Friend and Killy will be backed tomorrow. But, saying that, I’m a notoriously bad judge of the market!


  5. Rick Ford says:

    Thanks for the trends. As you and Gavin are both on it I’m going to dutch big Friend & Killy. How much is quite confident in terms of pts 1-10?

    GL to all.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Rick

      21 runners, many of them Grade 1 winners… how confident am I? Well, probably disproportionately given the preceding statement. Put it this way: I’m having my first decent bet since the Breeders Cup debacle..!


  6. Michael Brennan says:

    Hi Matt
    Lay Denman at your peril. I don’t thing Nichols would ‘risk’ him unless he was 100%. I think i’ll be having a small bet on your suggested Killyglen though, as all signs are in it’s favour. Should be a facinating race.
    Good luck all.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Michael

      I’ll not be laying Denman, but conceding so many pounds to so many unexposed rivals is a seriously tough task. I’m with Harry Findlay in the won’t be backing him either camp.


  7. Jeff J says:

    Bully for you mr,Sharma! Would that we all had your acumen,however if “I” had, I doubt I’d sound quite so smug about it !

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Now then Jeff J, play nicely please. Your first comment could have been interpreted as sarcastic, and your second is a little impolite to another person who is only expressing an opinion. I don’t want to play ‘mum’, so please make it easy for me.


  8. highlander says:

    o shit,ive done dubels all week with denman and the 2 3 4 favret.s thanks the highlander.

  9. tom40 says:

    great to c you tipping killyglen and what a friend
    im on barbers shop and as you rarely tip a winner couldnt ask for more!

  10. Paul says:

    I’ve backed Killy as my main bet too, but couldn’t resist having a saver on Denman. I don’t actually think the Nicholls horses are at their peak yet either, but I’ve been watching for the last couple of weeks and noticed the difference with the first-time out ones. As long as they don’t drift I think they’re pretty much all running their race.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      An exceptional weight carrying performance from an exceptional horse, truly back on his game. The one thing about Denman is he is a very big horse and, as he’s proved in TWO Hennessy’s now, he can carry very big weights.

      Take him away and the stats were spot on. Alas, we can’t take him away.

      Three other notes from the race for me:
      1. Barber’s Shop cannot win the Gold Cup, having received 18lbs from Denman and still been beaten seven lengths plus.
      2. Niche Market, as the Irish Grand National winner and a very safe conveyance who travels up with the pace and stays all day, must be interesting for the Grand National.
      3. Cappa Bleu should not have been racing here. I respect Evan Williams and appreciate he may have been under pressure from connections, but… this horse has done no more than beat a field of (very good) family pets in the Foxhunters, and couldn’t even win a moderate novice chase last time. He needs to go back to novice class and learn his game, or they may burn this chap out before he ever shows his true mettle.

      Over at Newcastle, there’s no more 45/1 on Go Native for the Champion Hurdle (as recommended in my recent piece on that race). Clearly at his best when they go licketty-split, he’ll relish Cheltenham in March and will go there with a major chance.


  11. Rupert Nicholson says:

    and in the end I didn’t lay Denman…. I didn’t touch the race as it turn out as my betting action has strayed over to footy and tennis lately.

  12. michael says:

    go native won because of a slow run race and not as you said a licketty split one.it does not help punters to win with such basic errors.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Michael. You’re right that Go Native won in a slow run race, but I didn’t say he had won a fast run race. I said he’s ‘clearly at his best when they go licketty-split’, as I know that’s what suits the Native best.

      Thus, to say he won ‘because’ of the slow run race is, I believe, wrong. Rather, I feel he won in spite of it, and the fact that he is now around 10/1 (best price 12’s, as low as 8’s with Betfred) for the Champion Hurdle, having been recommended on the blog this week at 33’s (45 on Betfair) is – in my opinion – a help to punters, despite what you call my ‘basic error’ in gauging the race time.

      To be perfectly frank Michael, I’m assuming you lost money on the race, as I can’t really see any other reason for your ungenerous comments.


  13. John says:

    Matt stuff guys like him, bet he didnt complain when you tipped niche market, whats happening with laying system by the way?

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi John

      Laying System continues it’s mini-revival after a torrid Autumn. It’s still closed to new subscribers, and will continue to be until the New Year at least.


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