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 2021 edition will take place on Saturday November 27th, so make sure to check best Cheltenham offers and get the most out of your bets!
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.
Knowing the statistics that lie behind a big betting race like the Ladbrokes Trophy can help you to find the winner. There are no guarantees of course, but prevailing trends often help you to make better decisions when betting. These Ladbrokes Trophy stats are well worth knowing:
The horse carrying bottom weight in the Ladbrokes Trophy, Cloth Cap, enjoyed sustained support from punters and advertised his Grand National claims with a brave and bold round of jumping. His was a bloodless 10-length victory in the hands of Tom Scudamore for trainer Jonjo O’Neill and veteran owner Trevor Hemmings. Sent off a well-backed 9/1, Cloth Cap never saw a rival as he made all the running under positive tactics. The sound surface at Newbury and getting into a good jumping rhythm out in front were the key to this sensational victory. He had many rivals toiling in his wake.
Colin Tizzard’s stable has enjoyed a good recent record in the race, but bother of his runners failed to get round with 12/1 chance Copperhead pulled up on the first circuit and 16/1 shot Mister Malarky unseating his rider at fence nine. Other market principals also failed to complete with Alan King’s Potterman making a race-ending blunder at the open ditch in the back straight after being back into 11/1 from 40/1 ante post. Ladbrokes Trophy joint-favourite Vinndication took a tumble at the 17th, while the late plunge on Danny Whizzbang came to naught as late call-up jockey Bryony Frost pulled Paul Nicholls’s charge up approaching that fence.
Kim Bailey’s other runner, Two For Gold (11/1), also didn’t complete, joining Anthony Honeyball trained veteran Regal Encore in pulling up in the home straight. By then, the bird had flown as Cloth Cap left northern raider Aye Right from the modest stable of Harriet Graham to chase him home at odds of 12/1 on jockey Callum Bewley’s first-ever ride at Newbury. Last year’s Ladbrokes Trophy runner-up The Conditional (14/1) placed third for David Bridgwater and Brendan Powell. Unfancied horses filled the minor places as 50/1 chance The Hollow Ginge ran fourth for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Gavin Sheehan, with Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear next home. Kildisart did best of the market leaders with Ben Pauling’s 8/1 chance finishing seventh. Of the 18-runner field, 11 got home and trailing in last of those was the other 15/2 joint-favourite Secret Investor for Nicholls.
De Rasher Counter ensured there was a Winter Carnival big race double for trainer Emma Lavelle, adding Ladbrokes Trophy success to Paisley Park’s win in the Long Distance Hurdle 24 hours earlier. Ridden by 5lb claimer Ben Jones, he actually drifted in the betting after opening on course at 10/1 out to a 12/1 starting price but that market weakness was no barrier to success over some more lauded rivals.
After tracking the leaders and seeing the 13/2 favourite West Approach – one of four in the race trained by Colin Tizzard – unseat at the seventh fence, De Rasher Counter was upsides crossing the 15th. Leading Irish fancy Cabaret Queen (8/1) was among those struggling on the second circuit and pulled up, but the winner took things up approaching four from home and never looked back.
As De Rasher Counter stayed on strongly and only needed driving out by Jones to make sure of victory, he ran out 1½ lengths clear of The Conditional – a 20/1 shot trained by David Bridgwater and ridden by another young jockey in Brendan Powell. The staying on Elegant Escape was a further half-length back in third at 15/2 for Harry Cobden and Tizzard with Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear (25/1) rounding out the first four.
That front quartet were separated by just 2¼ lengths, but had the remainder of the field that finished (17 in total) well strung out. Of the 24 that went to post for the Ladbrokes Trophy, seven failed to complete with a faller, Yorkhill, joining West Approach and four others besides Cabaret Queen to pull up.