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David Bridgwater raring to go in Hennessy with The Giant Bolster

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David Bridgwater feels The Giant Bolster could be the forgotten horse in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

David Bridgwater feels The Giant Bolster could be the forgotten horse in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

The trainer believes his stable stalwart is not badly handicapped and certainly has the form, having finished in the first four in three Cheltenham Gold Cups.

The Giant Bolster was pulled up in this year's renewal and fell in the Punchestown Gold Cup on his final start, but Bridgwater is convinced the horse was below par and is now back to his old self.

"The Giant Bolster's preparation has gone well. He came in earlier from his summer break and is in really good order with himself," said Bridgwater.

"I don't think he was particularly right last season. Punchestown hasn't affected him - I just think it was one of those tired falls.

"I am hoping for an encouraging run on Saturday. I see the likes of Bobs Worth and Smad Place are well fancied and if you fancy them you have got to fancy us because on our day, like a few in there, we are a good horse on a decent mark.

"I thought Coneygree was a certainty (before the decision on Tuesday to miss the Hennessy Gold Cup), although Bobs Worth might be now as he is nearly two-stone well in.

"We have left the headgear off on Saturday just to do something different - there is no point doing the same thing.

"Tom Scudamore came in to school The Giant Bolster this morning and - Tom will tell you himself - it was the best the horse has jumped since we can't remember when. We will know our fate over the first couple of fences but he was winging them this morning."

The Giant Bolster is among 17 horses declared for the prestigious handicap chase with the weights headed by Saphir Du Rheu, who will be giving away upwards of 7lb to each of his rivals.

Paul Nicholls' grey was vying for favouritism with Coneygree before the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was ruled out and he now finds himself as the clear market leader at 7-2 with Ladbrokes.

The six-year-old's chasing career did not get off to the greatest of starts and he reverted to hurdles before bolting up in Grade One company at the Grand National meeting.

In Coneygree's absence, Nico de Boinville can still ride a Gold Cup winner as he takes the mount on Bobs Worth, who is 6-1 second-favourite along with Smad Place.

The latter has been well supported for Alan King. Sixth in the race last season when his trainer felt he needed the run, he has not made the same mistake this season and arrives on the back of a comfortable success over Fingal Bay at Kempton.

King also runs Ned Stark, while Fingal Bay takes on Smad Place again and is one of two runners for Philip Hobbs with If In Doubt also lining up for the Minehead handler.

Neil Mulholland has two solid chances with The Druids Nephew and The Young Master, Fox Appeal runs for Emma Lavelle, while Nigel Twiston-Davies fields Splash Of Ginge and Benbens, and Houblon Des Obeaux, placed in the race before, runs again for Venetia Williams.

Irish hopes are carried by Mouse Morris' veteran First Lieutenant and the Willie Mullins-trained Urano. Peter Bowen's Al Co and Colin Tizzard's Theatre Guide, third to Triolo D'Alene two years ago, complete the field.