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Pipe puts faith in Our Father for Hennessy Gold Cup glory

Trainer David Pipe is very much the man to follow in the big weekend races at the moment. A sensational four-timer at Cheltenham’s Open meeting was followed by victory for Gevrey Chambertin and a fine second for Dynaste at Haydock last weekend.

Both of those winners are greys and so too is the stable’s big hope in the Hennessy, the second season chaser Our Father. Pipe admits that the horse is something of an enigma having romped to an effortless 20-length victory at Cheltenham on his first outing last season before losing his form.

In fact, all three career victories have come after lengthy lay-offs and Pipe is hopeful of another big run in Newbury’s feature event. 23 horses have been declared for the three and a quarter-mile handicap chase with the market headed by Invictus and Rocky Creek.

It would be a remarkable piece of training from Lanarkshire-born Alan King if he could get Invictus ready for such a prestigious race after being out for almost 20 months through injury. The seven-year-old beat Bobs Worth to win the Reynoldstown Chase back in 2012 and recent reports have been encouraging.

Paul Nicholls has admitted that his team are often needing a run to put them straight this season and he’s done his level best to get Rocky Creek fit enough to do himself justice. Nicky Henderson could be doubly represented with Hadrian’s Approach and Triolo D’Alene.

Hadrian’s Approach has proved frustrating as his jumping has often let him down at a crucial stage, notably when just held by Unioniste here last season. He ran on strongly over an inadequate trip at Kempton first time out and should be right in contention if he can put in a clear round.

Triolo D’Alene was a fair third behind Houblon Des Obeaux and Merry King at Ascot recently and is favoured by the weights here whilst RSA Chase winner Lord Windermere is also expected to run well. Jim Culloty believes that he has the potential to make a Gold Cup horse and has not received due credit for his victory at Cheltenham in March.

Other interesting runners include Katenko, Highland Lodge and Super Duty. Willie Mullins still has four entries including Prince De Beauchene and two-time Grand National faller On His Own.