Ante-post betting is a fickle beast at times, no sooner had we benefitted from some good judgement and fortune with the likes of Sceau Royal and The Storyteller in recent weeks, than we were brought back down to earth with a bump. The deluge at Cheltenham last weekend scuppering the chances of Mister Fisher and Thyme White, as he was ruled out on the morning of the race on Sunday.
In addition, long time fancy for the Ladbrokes Trophy Topofthegame has had his season cut short on account of injury yet again. It’s a bitter blow, and has rocked me from my complacency, as I had long ignored the race from an ante-post perspective, as I genuinely believed I had it all wrapped up with Topofthegame! How wrong I was…
So, having delved into the entries at the latest confirmation stage, I do think there are a couple of each-way stabs to side with now – both around the 14/1 mark, and who should really be going off single figure prices in just under two weeks’ time.
The first dart is Kildisart, who is 14/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral, and on account of producing a lovely effort in his prep run for this, is a nice each-way bet to continue his progression from last season. The aforementioned prep run came up at Wetherby in the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle, where he ran a lovely race in third, which will have sharpened him up and put him spot on for the Ladbrokes Trophy. There is recent history with that race, as 2016 Ladbrokes Trophy winner Native River was placed in it also on his prep run.
Back Kildisart in the Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase with Ladbrokes!
Despite going through last season winless, Kildisart last two starts were noteworthy. For a running on effort at Kempton over a sharp 3 miles was complimented by a cracking neck second in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. That came in first time cheekpieces, and it wouldn’t surprise if they were back on at Newbury a week on Saturday – it also confirmed that he perhaps has the beating of Vinndication, as he was back in fourth that day. The Conditional was the winner that day, and is current favourite for the Ladbrokes Trophy, but surely the lack of a prep run is a worry for him.
Vinndication is also towards the head of the market, with Aye Right, who both chased home Cyrname in the Charlie Hall, and will clearly be popular with many. But I just wonder whether Vinndication is a slick enough jumper for the Ladbrokes Trophy, as you usually need to travel and hold a position in a race that is always fiercely run. While Aye Right will win a decent race I’m sure, but may not be quite the big, scopey, strong stayer that usually thrives at Newbury.
Updated: 17/11/2020 14:48
After the shenanigans of yesterday afternoon – where last year’s winner and one of the recommended bets for this year’s Ladbrokes Trophy, De Rasher Counter, was ruled out a matter of minutes after I had backed and put up the recommendation – you may feel I have lost my marbles to suggest yet another bet for next weekend’s Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury’s Winter Festival. Well, start finding those marbles….as it’s what I’m going to do.
Having just watched the gallops morning at Newbury live on Racing TV, I found it fascinating and informative in equal measure. Many people will crab such gallops as taking away from potential appearances in competitive races, but I choose to take an enlightened and informed view of them.
Given that Kildisart, Vinndication and Beware The Bear all galloped and/or schooled over fences, a few clues were potentially there for the big handicap next weekend. Firstly, Kildisart did a nice piece of work, so having taken and advised the 14/1 about him, it was pleasantly enthusing to see.
Meanwhile, Vinndication jumped the fences down the back at Newbury, and to put it mildly, the impression he left was that a trip to Newbury in just over 10 days’ time was the last thing that he would necessarily need. Jumping markedly right, propping into some, and diving at others, he could well be sparked up by being in a competitive environment. But it definitely left the impression that with his antics, and the doubts about race fitness of The Conditional, and the questions marks regarding stamina hanging over so many others entered in the race, there could well be something else lurking at a price that will be suited to the race.
Having advertised the fact that I believe last year’s renewal was a stronger race than this year’s is shaping up to be, when highlighting the claims of De Rasher Counter, then look no further than a few lengths further back and you have a horse who is available at 33/1.
Beware The Bear is the only entry in the race for Nicky Henderson, which is potentially a tip in itself, as he did have many in the race at the first entry stage. He ran a cracker last year, when no stronger than at the line to be only 2¼ lengths behind the winner. He always runs well fresh, was eye-catching in his gallop this morning when cantering all over Santini, and at 33/1 with Betfred, he looks a very attractive price.
Back Beware The Bear in the Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase with Betfred!
Many will point to the fact that while Santini was second in a Gold Cup, he is famously a lazy type who probably doesn’t do much in any gallop, so in comparing his zest with Beware The Bear could be futile. But the point remains that he is an inherently very classy horse, and Beware The Bear did look full of himself and in rude health.
If Beware The Bear was 16/1 for the Ladbrokes Trophy I wouldn’t have felt the urge to suggest him, as I have already invested too much in the race! But at 33/1 each-way with Betfred, he is a great bet on today’s evidence.
That’s it, no more! I will stick with Kildisart and Beware The Bear for the 2020 Ladbrokes Trophy, I promise…
Update 17:50 16/11/2020: De Rasher Counter sustained an injury shortly after the entries were confirmed and had to be withdrawn from the race. The winner of last year’s Ladbrokes Trophy was one of Will Smith’s tips for the race at Newbury but has unfortunately been ruled out for the season with a leg injury.
However, we know that De Rasher Counter is definitely a type that thrives at Newbury, as he was a very impressive winner of the race last season, and every time I go through the race, I find it hard not be tempted by him at 14/1 each-way with 888Sport or Paddy Power, who both offer the added bonus of 5 places for each-way bets.
He too has had his preparation finalised with a spin over hurdles at Newton Abbot, which he also did to great effect last season. Watch the race last year and you couldn’t but be struck by the way he jumped and travelled, and was value for far more than the eventual winning margin in my eyes. With the race this year lacking an out and out superstar like Denman, Native River and Topofthegame (?!), then it looks clear for two solid and very appealing each-way bets at 14/1, in the shape of Kildisart and De Rasher Counter.