Bob's Worth the wait
Bobs Worth aims to emulate Denman by graduating to full company with victory in Saturday's Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Bobs Worth won the RSA Chase in March and is pitched into this ultra-competitive Grade Three handicap on his first start back.
Paul Nicholls followed that plan with Denman in 2007 and he duly completed the big-race double.
Punters will be hoping the ante-post favourite can repeat the trick, despite being saddled with 11st 6b.
"It was always where we were going to start," said Henderson.
"He stays and I think he handles soft ground.
"I'm not worried about his handicap mark as he's not going to go up sitting in his box - I don't think he's particularly well handicapped anyway.
"We do have a preference to go left-handed, so Newbury was the obvious way to go."
Henderson has a second string to his bow in ex-Irish runner Roberto Goldback.
The 10-year-old was initially due to run at Newbury on Friday but the Seven Barrows handler had a late change of heart in midweek and will now let the recent nine-length Ascot winner take his chance.
"The handicapper took a view that he had improved 13lb when he won at Ascot, and that's very nice of him, but we just don't think that is the case," he said.
"That 13lb makes it hard for him, but he stays, he jumps and he gallops."
Tidal Bay carries top weight for Nicholls in the three-and-a-quarter-mile heat after returning to winning form with victory in the bet365 Gold Cup last April.
That was his first win in over two years and he has since added a Grade Two hurdle victory at Wetherby on his seasonal return.
Nicholls said: "It took us a while to get him right last year but he won the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown very well off top weight and then he won over hurdles recently at Wetherby.
"I hope the ground is testing and I think he's got a great chance.
"It's not going to be easy, but he carried 11st 12lb in the bet365 race. He's a very classy horse and that counts.
"The weight doesn't worry me. We've worked out how to train him and we've got him right.
"What he wants is testing ground so they go slow and he can just be passing horses quietly as he picks the bridle up.
"I saw him work the other day and I think it's the best I've seen him look, so I'm hopeful we've just turned things around and he's got a chance."
First Lieutenant chased home Bobs Worth at Cheltenham and was eventually beaten two and a half lengths.
He went on to finish third at the Punchestown Festival and has already had two runs this term,
most recently finishing second to Kauto Stone in Grade One company at Down Royal.
Trainer Mouse Morris said: "Bobs Worth is obviously a much shorter price than us.
"Maybe they (bookmakers) are right, but it won't bother me - the horse doesn't know what price he is.
"Ideally we'd like better ground, but then so would he (Bobs Worth), so what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
"I'm very hopeful our horse is going to run a big race.
"He's ready to rock and roll and hopefully the ground is drying out a bit and it isn't going to be too bad.
"There is nowhere else for him to go before the Lexus, so he might as well run as he's in really good fettle at the moment."
Hold On Julio caught the attention of many pundits when a fine third at Cheltenham on his seasonal return.
He disappointed when sent off joint-favourite in Grade Three company at the Cheltenham Festival but trainer Alan King is sweet on his chances this time.
The Barbury Castle handler told his website, www.alankingracing.co.uk: "Hold On Julio represents us on Saturday and is unquestionably the best chance we've had of winning the prestigious handicap.
"He continues to improve, even as he approaches his 10th birthday, and I couldn't be happier with his well-being.
"I was thrilled with his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham last month and he has come on significantly for that run.
"He's got a nice weight, should handle the ground and gets the trip well.
"In short, he ticks all the boxes and I'm hopeful of a big run."