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Newbury

  • 14:40 Hennessy Gold Cup Handicap Chase 3m 2f 110y

  • (grade 3) £175,000 added 4yo+ 15 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 51.20s
  • Off time: 14:42:49

Mad Team Keep Hennessy In Family

By Martin Kelly, PA Sport.   Last Updated: 19/02/09 12:14pm

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Madison Du Berlais (right) leads at the last.

Madison Du Berlais (right) leads at the last.

History has a canny way of repeating itself and 20 years on from Martin Pipe and Peter Scudamore securing the Hennessy Gold Cup, their offspring David and Tom combined to take the prestigious handicap with Madison Du Berlais.

The respective fathers starred with Strands Of Gold in 1988 and also struck again with Chatam three years later, before eventually retiring from the training and jockey ranks.

Responsibilities were then handed down to the younger generation, and in Pipe junior's third season with his name on the Pond House training licence he added his name to an illustrious roll of honour.

His unconsidered 25-1 chance was a remote fourth to Denman 12 months ago and went three places better in a punishing finish in the testing conditions.

Scudamore brought the seven-year-old into contention facing up to the final four fences and had to provide plenty of assistance from the saddle to get the measure of Charlie Mann's Air Force One.

The pair were separated by three lengths at the line, with Paul Nicholls and Sam Thomas' luckless run continuing as ante-post jolly Big Buck's unseated the jockey when looking held at the final fence.

The success was a welcome change in fortune for Pipe, who hasn't enjoyed the best of seasons and had saddled just the one winner in the previous fortnight.

The trainer said: "I can't believe it and we've just had two winners at Towcester as well. I had to check the result to make sure it was true.

"I told everyone this horse had no chance due to the form of the stable, and the fact the race only seems to be won by second-season novices, and also because the horse is his own worst enemy.

"He never runs a bad race and the handicapper doesn't relent. But I can't blame him as the horse has won.

"He was a big price and came here 1lb lower than last year. We thought there wasn't a Denman in here and it has all worked out.

"We rode him to get the trip last year because he had a lot of form over two and two and a half miles. He loves this course and likes flat tracks so we rode him more positively this time.

"Tom has given him a great ride. It is a long way up that home straight and I thought Charlie Mann's horse was always just having the upper hand, but he has jumped the last two really well and this is great for the yard."

Victor Chandler quote the winner at 25-1 to give Pipe consecutive wins in the John Smith's Grand National.

Scudamore added: "He ran a cracker in this last year and I rode him much more positively this time.

"He was bought out of a claimer for £20,000 and has won his owners over £200,000 in prize money and it just goes to show.

"It is 20 years since dad and Martin did it so this is very special."

Pipe senior, who also won the race with Celestial Gold in 2004, said: "I am very proud, but it is about time he won the race as it's his third season training!

"I thought we had a chance and I tipped all of our three winners today on the Pipeline - I wish I had rung it myself now.

"He ran a great race in this last year to be fourth and I was surprised he was such a big price."

Air Force One travelled powerfully throughout in the front rank, and only started to come off second best from the final fence.

Mann said: "He ran a very good race on ground he hated.

"He might still be a Gold Cup horse as he's only six and we'll see what happens now. He's in the Lexus Chase and the King George."

Snoopy Loopy was just nine lengths adrift in third turned out just seven days after his Grade One success in the Betfair Chase.

His trainer Peter Bowen said: "That was a hell of a run off 11st 12lb considering he just ran a week ago.

"We'll have to think about supplementing him for the King George and then think about the Gold Cup."

Andy Stewart, owner of Big Buck's, was philosophical about Thomas' unseating, saying: "That's horse racing. The main thing is that Sam is fine and the horse is fine."

In a finish cruel to punters, 11-2 favourite Island Flyer rapidly weakened in the home straight and was last of the 11 to complete.

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