Newbury racecourse hosts their prestigious Ladbrokes Winter Carnival this weekend, culminating with the extremely competitive Ladbrokes Trophy handicap on Saturday.
One of the most prestigious staying handicap chases of the season, The Ladbrokes Trophy has produced and featured some of the most recognised household names down the years including Bob’s Worth, Native River, Many Clouds, One Man and of course Denman who triumphed here twice in 2007 and 2009.
This year’s renewal looks competitive as ever with plenty vying for favouritism. Nicky Henderson’s OK Corral leads the market and despite a dismal display at The Cheltenham Festival last time out, confidence from Seven Barrows is high.
Although this Nicky Henderson stayer opened his account last season with easy successes in novice chases at Plumpton and Warwick, he disappointed in the National Hunt chase at The Cheltenham Festival.
However, this was put down to the yard having to deal with the flu outbreak and the resulting vaccinations severely affecting the horse’s preparations.
Henderson maintains that this chaser has a bright future over distances of 3 miles plus. Lightly raced and open to improvement, he’s the type of progressive horse that has usually won this race down the years.
Betting wise however, he is not a tempting proposition and maintains his favouritism mainly down to the reputation of Seven Barrows producing a good percentage of successes since 2005: 21% but none since Triolo D’Alene;s triumph in 2013.
6/1 best with William Hill, Unibet and Coral.
Willie Mullins doesn’t usually send horses over for this but when he does, it’s worth taking notice as demonstrated by Total Recall’s hard fought success 2 years back.
Cabaret Queen also comes into the race with almost identical preparation to Total Recall with a blistering success in The JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National Handicap Chase at Limerick last month.
ON THE BLIND SIDE
The Nicky Henderson second string. Has never really shown best potential since producing two promising displays back in 2017, winning two Grade 2 novice hurdle events.
Disappointed in the RSA Chase behind Top Of The Game at The Cheltenham Festival, where he pulled up but did show some signs of coming back to form with a respectable fourth in his seasonal reappearance at The Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot recently. Will have to improve to figure here.
10/1 best with William Hill.
DE RASHER COUNTER
Chief mud lark of the field and could take the beating if the ground is bottomless. Has won on heavy ground over 3 miles at Uttoxeter and had every chance of winning last time out at the same track in a hurdle event but faded due to an error at the third last. Solid each way claims with considerable ease in the ground.
12/1 best with Coral.
Really developed into a smart novice chaser last season, winning the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot before finishing a very respectable fourth behind Lost In Translation, Santini and Top Of The Game in the RSA Chase at The Cheltenham Festival.
Followed this up with a second behind Kildisart at Aintree in April. Chances. 10/1 best with William Hill, Bet Victor, Coral and Betfred.
This Gordon Elliot trained Galway Plate winner is primarily focussed for Aintree but has more than enough ability to land this one. The County Meath trainer has bypassed the original choice for his stayer, The Troyton at Navan and is fully committed to Newbury.
Gordon Elliot doesn’t send many runners to Newbury unless they are expected to run a bold race so makes a worthy choice for our selection.
12/1 best with William Hill, Betfair, Bet Victor
This could easily be an all Irish battle as Cabaret Queen and Borice both have strong claims for Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot respectively. OK Corral has a live chance if he reproduces his novice form, whilst if the rain falls in abundance, the mud lark De Rasher Counter will see plenty of action in the betting ring.
However, we will stick with Gordon Elliot’s Borice as he attempts to win the Ladbrokes Trophy for the first time.
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (18:00 26th November 2019) and are subject to change.