The Hennessy Gold Cup is one of the biggest chases of the season and it takes place at Newbury in late November each year. Outside of the Grand National it is perhaps the biggest handicap race of the season and with the fact it is run over a distance of three miles two and a half furlongs it is a true stamina test. As well as being a massive race in its own right, the Hennessy Gold Cup acts as a key trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup with no less than seven horses winning both races in the same season. The Hennessy Gold Cup was first run all the way back in 1957 when it was held at Cheltenham before the race was moved to Newbury in 1960 where it has remained ever since.
The roll of honour for the Hennessy reads like a whos who of great chasers with some of the most legendary names in the sport winning the race. The horses who have won off big weights catch the eye with the great Arkle the stand out name with two successive wins at Newbury racecourse. The horse considered by many to be the greatest of all time won the Hennessy in 1964 and 1965 despite the fact he was carrying a massive 12st 7lbs each time which is a remarkable achievement. Legendary trainer Fulk Walwyn holds the record for the most winners in the Hennessy with no less than seven brilliant wins to his name between 1957 and 1981.
The sponsorship by Hennessy is the longest running one of its kind in Horse Racing which only serves to add extra importance to the race. The handicap nature of the race makes it different to the majority of the big chases during the season and in recent years there have been some extra special performances. The stand out name on the list since the turn of the century is that of Denman who will be fondly remembered for his brilliant wins in the Hennessy. The Tank won in 2007 and 2009 with a massive 11st 12lbs on his back as he galloped the field into submission in his familiar and popular style. It should also be noted that Denman went onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup odds in the same season as his first Hennessy win which proves the race can be an excellent starting point for the very best horses in the game.
Recent Winners of the Hennessy Gold Cup
S W Flanagan
B J Geraghty
Mrs D Foster