In form trainer Phillip Hobbs set to land the Hennessy Gold Cup with Fingal Bay this afternoon

Back in the spring all of the talk before the Cheltenham Festival was how Fingal Bay was set to land the Pertemps Network Final. That plot was achieved and the gamble landed, but now the trainer has an even bigger prize in his sights with Fingal Bay – The Hennessy Gold Cup.

Fingal Bay has always been highly regarded and was an exceptional hurdler being the only horse to have beaten Simonsig over an obstacle. It may seem a big ask to be thrown back in over fences straight into a competitive Hennessy but if anyone can achieve this training feat Hobbs can.

In his way will be the hot favourite Djakadam for Mullins, omninously low weighted he was travelling well when falling at the Festival in March. His participation in this race has all the hallmarks of a plot too. Alan King’s Smad Place and Sherwood’s Many Clouds must not be discounted.

Mullins other Irish raider this afternoon appears in the Grade One Fighting Fifth at Newcastle (2.05), Artic Fire was near the top of his class last season and should provide strong opposition to the fancied IrvingIrving looked the winner until plummeting out at the last in the Elite Hurdle last time at Wincanton.



Very classy and resolute bumper performer who looks to have this novice hurdle at his mercy. A good winner last time out at Cheltenham he should have no problem in converting his ability to jumping obstacles.


The talk is that this has been the plan for ages and that Fingal Bay is set to pull off the same sort of coup as he did at the Festival in the spring. With the stable on fire and the horse not carrying a punitive weight expect the plot to come off. There are big hopes for him for the rest of the season.


Archer would have been keen to have taken the ride on this unbeaten champion. He would have known that if the World Hurdle winner has trained on he was a certainty.

Crockford’s Gambles on Hennessy Gold Cup Day 2014:

Newbury – Broxbourne (12.20), Tara Road (12.50), Dushrembrandt (1.20) and Albert Bridge (1.50)

Newcastle – Irving (2.05) and Indian Castle e/w (2.40)

Fairyhouse – Rule The World (11.55), Rubi Light e/w (12.25), Sub Lieutenant (12.55), Fine Article (1.25), Couleur France (1.55) and Stockton’s Wing (2.30)

Bangor-on-Dee – Winter Walk (2.00)

Towcester – Pure Science (1.45) and Dalaman (3.25)

(Featured Photograph – Fingal Bay at the Cheltenham Festival 2014 by Stuart Rice)

Fingal Bay