Smad ready for Hennessy defence
Alan King is confident of a good showing from Smad Place when he defends his Hennessy Gold Cup crown later this month.
Smad Place: On target for Hennessy defence
The grey jumped for fun in last year's renewal of the prestigious Newbury handicap, streaking clear to win by 12 lengths.
He also won the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January but was found wanting in the King George and Gold Cup.
After a promising comeback in the Old Roan at Aintree over an inadequate trip, though, King could not be happier with his condition.
"Smad Place did his first bit of work since the Old Roan on Tuesday and I was really pleased with him," King told At The Races.
"He had top-weight and it (Old Roan) was over only two and a half miles, which is too sharp for him, but he was staying on nicely at the finish. He's dropped 1lb in the weights which isn't much but it all helps.
"He's probably better off in handicaps because he's not quite up to beating those Grade One horses, he's just found wanting a bit. It's not going to be easy for him off that mark but I'm sure he'll run well."