Smad Place to head straight for Hennessy

Perseverance pays: O'Faolains Boy (Barry Geraghty, left) beat Smad Place to land the RSA Chase

Smad Place (right): beaten just a quarter of a length in last season’s RSA

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

ONE of last season’s best staying novice chasers, Smad Place, will make his seasonal reappearance in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury later this month after pleasing trainer Alan King over the summer.

The seven-year-old grey, who had been placed five times over hurdles at Grade 1 level – twice in the World Hurdle – took to life over fences well last season, finding just O’Faolains Boy too good in the RSA Chase and King believes there could be a lot more to come from the talented son of Smadoun.

Speaking in this week’s RFO, the trainer said: “He was a smart hurdler, twice placed in the World Hurdle, and had a good season when we sent him novice chasing last year. He did everything right in the RSA Chase apart from win.

“The plan is to go straight to the Hennessy Gold Cup as he goes particularly well fresh. I hope there is more to come from him.

“He was always a bit narrow and a bit light, but he has strengthened and is working as well as he has ever done. We’ll give him plenty of time between his races.”

Smad Place is the 10-1 co-favourite for the £100,000 Grade 3 handicap along with last year’s Festival winner Fingal Bay and the Willie Mullins-trained Djakadam.

Many Clouds who beat the strong Gold Cup fancy Holywell at Carlisle on Sunday is the next in the betting at 12-1.

For the full interview with Alan King, buy this week’s RFO. Out Tuesday


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