14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Carruthers team eye Hennessy repeatHeadlines

Carruthers will bid to emulate Arkle and land back-to-back victories in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

The legendary Irish jumper is the only horse to win the prestigious staying handicap chase in successive years in 1964 and '65, but while Arkle defied the massive burden of 12st 7lb on both occasions, Carruthers carried only 10st 4lb last year and has 3lb more this time.

"I'm really looking forward to it. I hope it doesn't dry up too much and make it really sticky ground. especially after a day's racing on Friday," his trainer Mark Bradstock told At The Races.

"He's in really good form. He's only got 10st 7lb - I'm certainly not complaining about that. The likes of Bobs Worth have got to give him about a stone. It's going to be interesting.

"Going down the back they always go an absolute million miles an hour, but I think there are probably going to be only a few finishers and one thing this fella does is stay."

Things have not gone right for the nine-year-old so far this term after he was left at the start on his intended reappearance at Cheltenham and was well-beaten there when he did run last month.

"I thought he jumped super at Cheltenham," said Bradstock.

"He had 11st 12lb on his back in really nasty ground which we've always known he can't cope with. He is not a robust enough horse to carry that kind of weight anyway. He looked like he was enjoying himself and jumped from fence to fence and came back fine."

Tom Gibney is concerned a lack of match practice may catch out his Irish Grand National hero Lion Na Bearnai. The 10-year-old gave his little-known trainer a major victory at Fairyhouse in the spring, but a minor setback meant he has not been able to have a prep run.

"He's all set to go. He was due to have a prep run but unfortunately that didn't work out because we had a bit of a hold-up with him about a month ago," said Gibney.

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