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A Grade 3 handicap chase run over 3¼ miles, the Ladbrokes Trophy acts as one of the most important early trials for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham and these days comes with a prize fund of £250,000.
The race was established in 1957 and run for many years as the Hennessy Gold Cup, those days at Cheltenham. Since 1960 though the event has been run at Newbury at the end of November or beginning of December every year. Hennessy gave up their sponsorship after the 60th running in 2016 with Ladbrokes picking up the mantle.
As a tough test over the Gold Cup distance, it is a proper Blue Riband trial but as a handicap it’s always possible that Cheltenham contenders have too much weight to carry. Only Denman and Bobs Worth have gone on to win the big one in March having first taken this race.
The 2019 edition will take place on Saturday November 30.
2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Key Runners
63 horses have been put into the race at the first entry stage, with these ten arguably the most fascinating of them.
|Cabaret Queen||7||TBC||Willie Mullins|
|Elegant Escape||7||TBC||Colin Tizzard|
2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Top Tips
There is a lot to sort out before we see the final line-up for this race on November 30th, with some horses set to run before then and some looking slightly ground-reliant.
Ballyoptic & Discorama
In the latter category are Ballyoptic and Discorama for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Paul Nolan respectively, who would both need particularly soft ground for them to show their very best form. Ballyoptic started the season really well with a win in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and has been raised just 2lbs, while Discorama has a string of seconds next to his name but continues to improve and will get his head in front at some stage.
Kildisart & The Worlds End
The two really interesting runners at the ante post stage though are a little more versatile and could prove to be very well handicapped, those being Kildisart and The Worlds End.
The Worlds End, Tom George’s 8-year-old, is still 4lbs shy of the official rating he reached over hurdles yet looks to be a better chaser, his win in a novice chase at Cheltenham last December marking him out as a thoroughly decent type. That was on good ground and he’s won well over hurdles on soft, so he’s not ground dependant, and could prove to be particularly well-in during the early parts of the season.
Ben Pauling’s Kildisart is match fit after a reappearance third at Carlisle and should come on for that run, his form highlight being a Grade 3 Betway Handicap Chase win at Aintree in the spring and any natural improvement shown from that would give him a huge each-way chance in this race.
Ante Post Bet: THE WORLDS END
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Ladbrokes Trophy Stats & Trends
As you can see from the list of Ladbrokes Trophy Chase winners, there’s nothing much we can glean from jockeys as the success has been well spread out. Generally speaking, the race is won by a top yard as despite this being a handicap it is one of the more important early Gold Cup trials, so give a little more credence to those coming from successful stables.
In terms of the pattern of Ladbrokes Trophy betting, 6 out of 19 favourites have won the race since 2000 which is actually bang on the average for the number of winning favourites across UK racing. Furthermore, 14 out of 19 were priced at 10/1 or lower so despite a very fair average return of 9/1 it seems concentrating on those near the head of the market can pay dividends.
Last year’s winner Sizing Tennessee at 10, who hasn’t run since, at the brilliant Denman who won his second Ladbrokes Trophy at 9 seem to be the exceptions and not the norm in terms of their age. All other winners since 2000 have been aged 6-8 and that appears to be the group to concentrate on.
Past Ladbrokes Trophy Winners
The well-backed Thomas Patrick, who’d won at Aintree the previous spring, went off a very short looking 3/1 favourite for the Ladbrokes Trophy 2018 but he was challenged at the top of the market by Colin Tizzard’s Elegant Escape at 4/1.
Tizzard had a good record in the race and was confident of winning it with Harry Cobden’s mount, however it seemed four fences from home that the 6-year-old would face a serious challenge from his own stablemate, Sizing Tennessee.
The 10-year-old was in terrific form having put in a career-best performance in October and went clear here by 10 lengths under Tom Scudamore to nab the £142,000 first prize.
Sizing Tennessee didn’t go on to compete in the Gold Cup, but plenty of others have since 2010. Here are those last 9 Ladbrokes Trophy winners:
|2018||Sizing Tennessee||10||Tom Scudamore||Colin Tizzard||Did not race|
|2017||Total Recall||8||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins||Fell in Gold Cup|
|2016||Native River||6||Richard Johnson||Colin Tizzard||3rd in Gold Cup|
|2015||Smad Place||8||Wayne Hutchinson||Alan King||6th in Gold Cup|
|2014||Many Clouds||7||Leighton Aspell||Oliver Sherwood||6th in Gold Cup|
|2013||Triolo D’Alene||6||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||10th in Gold Cup|
|2012||Bobs Worth||7||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||1st in Gold Cup|
|2011||Carruthers||8||Mattie Batchelor||Mark Bradstock||10th in Gold Cup|
|2010||Diamond Harry||7||Daryl Jacob||Nick Williams||Pulled-up in Gold Cup|