Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Newbury) Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 1st December 2018

December certainly starts with a bang on the racing front with the race formerly known as the Hennessey Gold Cup lighting up the track at Newbury this coming weekend. Possibly the highest-class handicap run anywhere over the course of the National Hunt season, the roll of honour here is littered with greats of the game. That includes Gold Cup winners, Denman and Native River and Grand National hero, Many Clouds. Who will come out on top this year?

This looks as competitive as ever, but overall, we can’t resist the claims of the horse who won this in such thrilling style 12 months ago.

Top Tips

Total Recall each way @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

3m2f is the trip for this Grade 3 handicap which has £250,000 in total prize money on offer. The ground at the track is currently described as good to soft, but with plenty of rain around this is expected to turn soft come race time.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Soft 3m2f Grade 3 £250,000 Max 24 Runners 1/4 1-4

Recent Winners

Open to all runners aged four and older, the narrower age bracket of 6-8 year olds has been responsible for nine of the past 10 winners. The only exception to that was the mighty Denman who scored as a nine year old in 2009.

This has been a decent race for the market leader in recent times, with four winning favourites in the past decade, returning a level stakes profit of 8.75pts.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2017 Total Recall 9/2 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2016 Native River 7/2 Colin Tizzard Richard Johnson
2015 Smad Place 7/1 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
2014 Many Clouds 8/1 Oliver Sherwood Leighton Aspell
2013 Triolo D’Alene 20/1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty

Analysis: Magic Mullins To Strike Again

We have a high-class field assembling for one of the real early season highlights once again, with this year’s cast littered with those who have already plied their trade at a higher level, and those who no doubt will do so in the not too distant future.

No Escaping Claims Of Tizzard Challenger

A winner at up to Grade 2 level, and placed three times in Grade 1 company, there’s no doubt that Colin Tizzard’s runner, Elegant Escape is a notch above a handicapper. He will need to be though if he is to land this off a mark of 155. The evidence of last season’s form would suggest that he may fall just short of the standard required, but there are grounds to believe that we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He certainly seemed to show the benefit of a wind operation over the summer when winning at Sandown last time out and may well build on that here.

Pat’s The Way To Do It?

If you like the claims of Elegant Escape, then it’s hard not to be taken by those of Tom Lacey’s, Thomas Patrick. Only ½l behind Elegant Escape in that Sandown race last time, the mount of champion Richard Johnson finds himself 5lbs better off at the weights here. In theory at least that’s more than enough to turn the tables. This one likes soft ground, which seems likely at present, is reportedly hitting new heights at home this season, and looks a threat to all.

Repeat For Recall?

Many believe that a Gold Cup calibre horse is needed to come out on top in this race these days, and whilst there is no obvious standout amongst the younger runners in this regard, we do have one in the field who did run in the Cheltenham showpiece last year. That horse is the defending champion Total Recall who goes for Willie Mullins.

Form figures of 1FPP since that win admittedly aren’t too inspiring, but when we consider that the fall came when staying on again in the Gold Cup and the two pulled up efforts came in the Grand National – a race which can take some getting over – and then in the Punchestown Gold Cup just 11 days later, he may just be worth another chance. He is 9lbs higher this time around, but this may be a weaker renewal.

Final Verdict: Total Recall each way

Thomas Patrick is narrowly preferred amongst those at the head of the market, with his excellent jumping likely to stand him in good stead. He just looks a little short on what he has achieved though, and in what looks an open year we prefer an each way punt in the race.

Take a chance on Total Recall at least going close to defending his crown. A 220-day break is no concern for one who goes well fresh, he likes soft ground, and has already shown he has what it takes to prevail around here. He’s the one to be on at the prices.

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