Madison added to Hennessy possibles
David Pipe's enigmatic Madison Du Berlais and the Eoin Griffin-trained Glencove Marina were added to the possible runners for Saturday's refixed Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown yesterday when Pride Of Dulcote, as expected, was missing from the list of 11 initial confirmations.
Although the defection of the Paul Nicholls-trained Pride Of Dulcote is regrettable, at least the Dublin track was deemed perfectly raceable once more after Sunday's postponement due to waterlogging. The Hennessy promotion will now be shown live on Channel 4.
Outclassed behind Long Run in last month's delayed King George at Kempton, Pipe's Madison Du Berlais -- which is the regular mount of Tom Scudamore -- could attempt this weekend to follow up the Hennessy triumph in 1992 of Carvill's Hill for their fathers Martin Pipe and Peter Scudamore.
However, the French-bred gelding is rated only a 16/1 chance with Paddy Power, two points longer than Glencove Marina, to bounce back to form if making the trip from England. The leading Irish firm expects last year's principals to dominate instead.
Joncol at 7/4 and Cooldine (7/2), which engaged in a tremendous duel for last year's spoils, have been shortened up considerably in the absence of Pride Of Dulcote, with Money Trix their next best at 9/2, ahead of Kempes (7/1) and 10/1 chances China Rock and The Listener.
The latter grey, successful in the 2008 renewal, showed much of his old sparkle when fifth to the currently sidelined Pandorama in the Lexus Chase on his comeback from stem cell treatment for a leg injury in December when making his seventh appearance at the Foxrock venue.
Apart from the Hennessy promotion, there's no change where the prospective candidates for the other three Grade One events on the card are concerned and manager Tom Burke is increasingly optimistic that the fixture will survive the further rainfall forecast before Saturday.
Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson moved closer to his 2,000th career winner when claiming a short-priced double in the Market Rasen sunshine yesterday.
The trainer is now on 1,998 winners after Higgy's Ragazzo and Quantitativeeasing -- both under Tony McCoy -- obliged to take him past 100 for the season.