Brentford Hope eyeing Zetland Gold Cup


Brentford Hope could make an instant reappearance in the Zetland Gold Cup next Monday at Redcar, as long as the present wet conditions prevail.

The 4-year-old relished the rain-soaked ground to run out a satisfying three-length winner on Sunday at Nottingham.

Richard Hughes is to provide his charge an entry in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap as he requires most of the unseasonal condition.

The Lambourn handler said on TWE: “He won well at Nottingham. It was good, he had his ground. When he has his ground he performs well,”

“He’s grand and we’ll probably make an entry for the Zetland Gold Cup. We’ve got the weather at the moment and I know I’m not going to have it forever.

“I have to go wherever the rain goes. He’s in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. It might have dried up by then, but you never know.”

Meanwhile, trainer Nicky Henderson and Part-owner Simon Munirhave paid tribute to Top Notch after the famous chaser’s death last Sunday.

Ten-year-old, Top-Notch, won 16 out of his 33 career starts in a career that spans eight solid years, with his only Grade One win coming in Sandown at the 2017 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.

Top-Notch also won two editions of the Oaksey Chase and the Grade Two Peterborough Chase on the final day of the campaign at Sandown over three years ago.

The Polyglot gelding appeared five times at the Cheltenham Festival, securing runner-up finishes in the Triumph Hurdle in 2015 and the 2017 edition of the JLT Novices’ Chase. Top-Notch finished in the third position in the Paddy Power Plate on his very recent trip to Prestbury Park back in March.

At the Grand National meeting at Aintree last month, Top Notch ran once more. 

Munir, the owner of Top Notch with Isaac Souede, wrote on Social media site Twitter: “It is with great sadness that we lost our double green stalwart and hero Top Notch today. He ruptured his stomach and surgery failed.

“He was the sweetest kindest horse with the biggest heart – since 2014 he won 14 races and participated in five Cheltenham Festivals.

“So many memories – RIP Notchy.”

Nicky Henderson also wrote: “Top Notch will be sorely missed by us all at Seven Barrows. He was a great friend and gave us all so many wonderful days out over the last few years”

Also, Frankie Dettori has paid tribute to his late friend Barney Curley, a vital mentor throughout his riding career, after the death of the legendary trainer and punter on Sunday at age 81.

Barney Curley will always be associated with the Yellow Sam coup at Bellewstownback in 1975, which included blocking the sole public phone at the track and was believed to have won him an amount equivalent of £2 million in today’s monetary value.

Barney Curley also owned many horses and after taking out in 1985 his training license, he supported the development of many young jockeys in Newmarket, including Tom Queally, Dettori, and Jamie Spencer.

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