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Boomboom Primed for Hennessy Return


11/23/12 - Nicky Henderson’s strapping staying chaser, Shakalakaboomboom, a leading fancy in the racing news for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree in April, could make his seasonal return in the Grade 3 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on December 1, writes Elliot Slater.

The gelded son of Anshan gave Barry Geraghty a tremendous ride over the awesome Aintree fences in the spring, racing prominently until leading at the fourth from home in ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’ only to be headed at the penultimate fence, after which he gradually weakened and eventually finished ninth of the 40 runners behind the last-gasp winner Neptune Collonges.

Winner of the Grade 3 Majordomo Hospitality Chase at Cheltenham last December, Shakalakaboomboom then finished a brave runner-up to the very useful Calgary Bay in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in late-January.

He then warmed up for one of the most prestigious racing events on the calendar, the Grand National, with a spin over hurdles at Warwick a few weeks earlier, finding only Killmacowen 11-lengths too good for him in the Racing UK Novices Hurdle.

The Hennessy Gold Cup appears a reasonable starting point for the horse who has bags of stamina and is generally a good jumper, most firms rating Henderson’s stayer a 25/1 chance to spring a surprise in the three-and-a-quarter-mile prestige contest. The yard’s Bob’s Worth is currently a rock solid 4/1 market leader across the board.

Dropped a pound since his run at Aintree in April, Shakalakaboomboom will be built up by his master trainer for a second bid for the Liverpool marathon, as his handler seeks to ingrain more stamina in a horse who did appear to run out of gas in the last three furlongs of the four-and-a-half mile contest.

Boomboom had previously excited connections in seemingly travelling like a winner when the field turned for home and crossed the Melling Road for the final time.

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