Ireland hasn’t won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury since 1980, but there are nine Irish-trained entries for this year's running which takes place on Saturday, November 29th.
The Irish entry is headed by the Mouse Morris-trained triple Grade 1 winner First Lieutenant, second to Bobs Worth in the 2012 Hennessy.
Willie Mullins suffered Hennessy heartbreak in 2002 after his Be My Royal was first past the post, but subsequently disqualified. This year, Ireland’s champion trainer has entered the Susannah Ricci-owned trio of Champagne Fever, Ballycasey and Djakadam, along with Grade 2-scorer The Paparrazi Kid.
Other notable contenders from Ireland include Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack, Mullaghanoe River from the Noel Meade yard, and the Dessie Hughes-trained Lyreen Legend.
The total of 58 entries is up from 53 last year and is the highest figures since 2010.
Nicky Henderson has taken the £175,000 showpiece three times in his career, including the latest two renewals. The handler’s 2013 hero Triolo D’Alene could bid to become the first back-to-back winner since the great Arkle in 1965.
Henderson’s other representative is Hadrian’s Approach, who unseated Nico de Boinville at the fifth fence in the race last year.
Paul Nicholls is another three-time winner of the Hennessy as a trainer and is responsible for seven of the possible runners. Rocky Creek, runner-up in 2013, Unioniste and Just a Par look the pick of his septet.
Alan King saddled the well-fancied Invictus to finish 11th last season and has a host of smart horses engaged including Medermit, the classy Smad Place and Walkon. Midnight Prayer and Pantxoa are his other pair.
The Romford Pele, winner of his last three races, could line up for Rebecca Curtis, and the prolific Fingal Bay and dual-Newbury victor Roalco de Farges, both trained by Philip Hobbs, are other high-profile entries.
THE HENNESSY GOLD CUP STEEPLE CHASE (HANDICAP) (CLASS 1) (Grade 3)
Horse Age Owner Trainer
First Lieutenant (IRE) 9 Gigginstown House Stud M. F. Morris
Harry Topper (GB) 7 Mr A. N. Solomons Kim Bailey
Champagne Fever (IRE) 7 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins
Lyreen Legend (IRE) 7 Lyreen Syndicate D. T. Hughes
Triolo d'Alene (FR) 7 Mr & Mrs Sandy Orr Nicky Henderson
Houblon des Obeaux (FR) 7 Mrs Julian Blackwell Venetia Williams
Rocky Creek (IRE) 8 The Johnson & Stewart Families Paul Nicholls
Medermit (FR) 10 The Dunkley & Reilly Partnership Alan King
Ballycasey (IRE) 7 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins
Katenko (FR) 8 Mr A. Brooks Venetia Williams
Smad Place (FR) 7 Mrs Peter Andrews Alan King
Ballynagour (IRE) 8 Mr Allan Stennett David Pipe
Fingal Bay (IRE) 8 Mrs R. J. Skan Philip Hobbs
Bury Parade (IRE) 8 HighclereThoroughbredRacing- Bury Parade Paul Nicholls
Hadrian's Approach (IRE) 7 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson
Vino Griego (FR) 9 Mr C. E. Stedman Gary Moore
Don Cossack (GER) 7 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott
Unioniste (FR) 6 Mr J. Hales Paul Nicholls
Walkon (FR) 9 McNeill Family Alan King
The Romford Pele (IRE) 7 Trembath & Outhart Rebecca Curtis
Black Thunder (FR) 7 Donlon, MacDonald, Fulton & Webb Paul Nicholls
Theatre Guide (IRE) 7 Mrs Jean R. Bishop Colin Tizzard
Le Bec (FR) 6 Tim Syder Emma Lavelle
Restless Harry (GB) 10 Mr R. G. Whitehead Robin Dickin
Easter Meteor (GB) 8 Mr & Mrs S. C. Willes David Pipe
Sam Winner (FR) 7 Mrs Angela Yeoman Paul Nicholls
Monbeg Dude (IRE) 9 Oydunow Michael Scudamore
Buywise (IRE) 7 Mr T. Hywel Jones Evan Williams
Annacotty (IRE) 6 Mrs Peter Prowting Martin Keighley
Wiesentraum (GER) 8 G. Pascoe & S. Brewer Lucy Wadham
Mendip Express (IRE) 8 The Mendip Syndicate Harry Fry
Lamb Or Cod (IRE) 7 Mr Terry Warner Philip Hobbs
Many Clouds (IRE) 7 Mr Trevor Hemmings Oliver Sherwood
Easter Day (FR) 6 B. Fulton, Broughton Thermal Insulation Paul Nicholls
Present View (GB) 6 Sir Chips Keswick Jamie Snowden
Just A Par (IRE) 7 Paul K. Barber & C. G. Roach Paul Nicholls
Djakadam (FR) 5 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins
Court In Motion (IRE) 9 Mr N. Mustoe Emma Lavelle
Roalco de Farges (FR) 9 The Brushmakers Philip Hobbs
Wychwoods Brook (GB) 8 Kevin & Anne Glastonbury Evan Williams
Midnight Prayer (GB) 9 The Legends Partnership Alan King
The Druids Nephew (IRE) 7 The Stonehenge Druids Neil Mulholland
Mountainous (IRE) 9 Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter Richard Lee
Via Sundown (FR) 6 The Old Brokers Gary Moore
Knock A Hand (IRE) 9 Mr Alan Halsall Richard Lee
Pantxoa (FR) 7 Mrs June Watts Alan King
Mullaghanoe River (IRE) 6 Mrs Patricia Hunt Noel Meade
Victors Serenade (IRE) 9 Michael & Angela Bone Anthony Honeyball
Gevrey Chambertin (FR) 6 Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds III David Pipe
Merry King (IRE) 7 Mr F. Gillespie Jonjo O'Neill
Edmund Kean (IRE) 7 Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter Peter Bowen
Gallant Oscar (IRE) 8 Mr G. Kelly A. J. Martin
What A Warrior (IRE) 7 Mr & Mrs Gordon Pink Dan Skelton
Handy Andy (IRE) 8 Brocade Racing Colin Tizzard
Le Reve (IRE) 6 Mr P. H. Betts Lucy Wadham
Tour des Champs (FR) 7 Mr H. R. Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
Saroque (IRE) 7 Mr A. Brooks Venetia Williams
The Paparrazi Kid (IRE) 7 Byerley Thoroughbred Racing W. P. Mullins