It’s a tasty race (Leopardstown, 15.50), even if it has little or no bearing on the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.
Florida Pearl is the oldest winner of the Hennessy, winning aged 12 in 2004, so it’s last-chance stuff today for Tidal Bay on testing ground.
So, ahead of Cheltenham 2014, here’s where the money is going (as of 10.45am) with Paddy Power on the Hennessy Gold Cup…
Lord Windermere 8/1
Below-par this season, but Tom Segal (Pricewise) had his say this morning tipping Lord Windermere with Paddy Power at 10/1, forcing a snip to 8/1. Davy Russell is on board. Close to Tidal Bay in the book with about one quarter of the total stake coming in for the winner of last season’s RSA Chase. It’s a big loser for Paddy Power if it comes in.
First Lieutenant 5/2
On Sunday morning just over one third of the online cash was on the Gigginstown House-trained horse. Beaten, just, by Tidal Bay in the 2012 Lexus Chase. It’s his first run in the Hennessy and he has just one Grade 1 victory over fences, but that doesn’t seem to have put off punters as it’s the second-biggest loser for Paddy Power.
Tidal Bay 11/4
Ruby Walsh answered the call and his involvement forced our traders to snip Tidal Bay’s price. About 24 percent of the combined stake is on this proven Grade 1 winner with a course specialist in the saddle.
Of the rest in the Hennessy, there’s been a few bets on Last Instalment at 6/1 and he has form as a novice at Leopardstown but he’s likely to drift.
Paddy Power said: “First Lieutenant has extremely solid credentials having found only Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth too powerful in the Lexus. But my concern for favourite backers is that he usually comes across one stronger rival when he competes at Leopardstown.”
As for the other races on the card today at Leopardstown, here’s the view from Power Tower…
1.15 – All the early money this morning is for Plinth. Punters feel he should hold the form from his last meeting with Ivan Grozny over course and distance at Christmas.
2.15 – Quiet enough betting heat so far. Very hard to see past the front two here but there was good money all week for Tony Martin’s Quickpick Vic.
2.45 – Just three runners but definitely quality over quantity. Ballycasey has been quite weak in the market and punters have so far been siding with proven ability over the potential.