Saturday 1st December – Newbury – 3pm 3m 2f (3m 1f 214y) Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)
The Ladbrokes Trophy was established in 1957 as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and was originally staged at Cheltenham. The race was moved to Newbury in 1960 and is run over 3 miles 2 furlongs. The event is a handicap race with the horses jumping 21 fences during the course of the race. The Hennessy family sponsored the event for 60 years, ending their association with the race in 2016.
Only three horses have won the race twice, including the great Arkle and more recently crowd favourite Denman.
The last 25 renewals have been won by horses aged seven and eight on 16 occasions and this trend has continued with seven of the last 10 winners falling into the same age group.
The betting market has been a reasonable guide to finding the winner recently as seven of the last 12 winners came from the front three in the betting. However, bigger priced winners are not unknown as four of the last 12 winners were sent off at prices of 8/1, 10/1, 20/1 and 25/1.
A previous run at Newbury is advantageous with nine of the last 12 winners having previously won at the course and eight of the 12 having previous winning form at the course. Six of the last 12 winners also won on their previous run with seven running within the last 55 days.
Horses with experience of the running over 3 miles or further have a good record. Eleven of the previous 12 winners had run at least three runs at distance of 3 miles or further and nine of the winners had at least one previous run at 3 miles or further. All of the last 12 winners had at least two wins over 3 miles or further.
An Official Rating of 150 of higher has been required to win the race in nine of the last twelve renewals and nine of the last twelve winners had also previously won a Grade 1 to 3 race previously.
Paul Nicholls was very pleased with Black Corton when he finished second in the Charlie Hall Chase on his last start with Nicholls commenting on his website that the race was his career best performance to date. The seven year old brown gelding has won eight times over fences and has previously run at Newbury finishing second in a Grade 2 Novice Chase at this meeting last year. Proven in the ground and with his yard in very good form he is likely to give his backers a good run at a double figure price.
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