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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

Cheltenham Gold Cup Next for Denman

Diamond Harry showed all of his class to win the Hennessey Gold Cup on Saturday with a pretty faultless front-running performance. The biggest cheer was reserved for a gallant Denman though, who ran a tremendous race in concession of 26 lb to finish third, in many ways reminiscent of Arkle in his bid for a third Hennessey back in the 1960’s.



Denman returned to a hero’s reception after his gallant effort and Paul Nicholls may route his charge straight to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup, telling reporters;

"The ground was just a bit lively for him and he was flat out all the way, but that has got to be one of his career-best performances. I've had a chat with Sam and because he's best fresh, we're going to give him a break now and go straight for the Gold Cup.

The winner may also head for the pinnacle of steeplechasing, although trainer Nick Williams sounded a note of caution;

"He's not an obvious Cheltenham horse but we are going to have to look at the Gold Cup. He won't run in a whole lot of races now. We entered him in the Lexus Chase and he was probably going to run there if he was placed, but that's not out of the equation yet. Otherwise there is the option of going back to Cheltenham for the Trials meeting."

Denman is now as low as 8/1 for the Gold Cup with Diamond Harry on 16/1. The runner-up Burton Point also ran a great race and his odds are no bigger than 20/1. Imperial Commander remains 9/2 favourite with Kauto Star at 5/1 and as things stand, we are in for a treat come March.

The weather has decimated Sunday’s card but they should go at Kempton and LEELU could be one of the better bets on the card in the 5.20. Although handicapped to the hilt, the filly has a very good record at this trip on Polytrack and from stall 14, she ought to be involved in the finish. The current 14/1 on offer looks too big.

Recommendation: Kempton 5.20 - Leelu


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