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Ladbrokes Trophy Chase - Newbury - Saturday preview


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This Saturday sees the annual running of the Ladbroke Trophy handicap Chase, known to many as the Henessey Gold Cup and won in the past by such legendry names as Arkle, Burrough Hill Lad and Denman to name but three. It’ll be run at Newbury over 3m 2f and the most important factor is that the ground is currently good to soft at the Berkshire track. The weather forecast for the week (though they can be as poor as some tipsters I know!) is bar a wet Wednesday predominantly dry which isn’t going to help the true mudlark if that forecast is right. 

Heading the weights for the field of 19 is Ballyoptic last seen pulling up in the Charlie Hall and his mark of 162 looks too high. Vinndication is a lovely old fashioned chaser who ran Cyrname to 2l in the aforementioned Charlie Hall and would have a real chance if the ground was soft but as already mooted conditions may stem away from him and a few others. Sam Brown is another who is better when the ground is hock deep and on those conditions would be the pick for me but unless the heavens open on the day I can’t be interested in Anthony Honeyball’s charge. Honeyball also has Regal Encore entered who won at Ascot recently but ran well in that race last year before pulling up here. He’s best at Ascot. 

Paul Nicholl’s has left in Secret Investor and Danny Whizzbang. The latter flopped in the Badger Beer at Wincanton last time and would take a bit chunk of faith to back him following that outing though his stable companion Secret Investor is high on my short list. A second season novice he benefited from having his wind done when sluishing up at Chepstow 6 weeks ago by 7 lengths from Potterman. The handicapper has raised him 9lb for that but he’s a decent good ground horse who likes to run from the front. He can run well here. 

Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear is a very interesting runner who finished 4th in the race last season from the same mark only beaten 2 ¼ lengths and that was his seasonal re-appearance so we shouldn’t be worried of his lack of a recent outing. In fact he was seen at Newbury’s Ladbroke Trophy gallop day only last week working all over the stone higher rated Santini! How much you can read into that I’m not sure but he’s a lively outsider for sure. 

Kidisart lines up for this with a run over hurdles in the Bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby last month, a race in which fellow challenger Copperhead pulled up in. The latter strikes me as more of a Welsh National type.  

Scottish challenger Aye Right ran a stormer when third to Cyrname in the Charlie Hall, 5lb behind Vinndication and despite a 4lb rise is still 7lb better off. He’s also got a Saturday engagement up at Newcastle.

Mister Malarkey was 6th last year off of the same mark and didn’t show enough at Ascot last time behind Regal Encore to be of interest to me here.

Tom George’s Black Op seems to have been around years although is still a nine year old. He’s lightly raced over fence with only six chase starts under his belt, notably when 1 ½ lengths second to the RSA winner Champ here last season at levels. That was a fine effort as Champ is now rated 13lb higher. The trip was too short on his re-appearance when 4th to Saturday’s Ascot winner Imperial Aura at Carlisle in the Charlie Parker Memorial. Sam Brown was 1 ¾ lengths ahead that day and although 6lb worse off is a definite player here. 

Kim Bailey also has Two For Gold in the race as well as Vinndication but as promising as he is with such a good profile for this he really needs soft/heavy ground and is overlooked. He also has an entry up at Newcastle on Saturday. 

David Bridgewater’s The Conditional was just touched off in this last year off of 137 but he came into the race having had two prep races and is 10lb higher today (he’s three times the price of Beware The Bear who was just behind him and 10lb worse off). To be fair to him he did improve further last season ending up winning the Ultima at the Festival. 

La Bague Au Roi likes Newbury but she looks to have fallen out of love with the game currently.

Alan King intends to saddle Potterman who has finished runner up at Chepstow (7l 2nd to Secret Investor and 4lb better off) and Wincanton (Badger Beers beaten a short head). He likes good ground so it would not be a shock if we have a dry week that he runs well. And 20/1 about him looks quite big.

Ardlethen and The Hollow Ginge are not for me but bottom weight Cloth Cap is very tempting. Touted by his trainer Jonjo O’Neill as an ideal National horse he is best on good ground which he didn’t have at all in four runs last season. He had some decent ground first time out this season when third to Frodon in a Cheltenham handicap. That will have put him in good shape for this and he can race off of a 2lb lower mark as he was 2lb out of the handicap then.  I’m not sure who will ride him as the obvious fit would be Jonjo O’Neil Junior but the lowest weight he’s ridden at in the last year is 10-6 so his regular pilot Richie McLernon will probably ride as he can do 10-0.

 

Summary:-

With a dryish (bar Wednesday) forecast I’ve dropped out the mudlarks Vinndication, Sam Browne & Two For Gold. My short list comprises of Secret Investor, Beware The Bear, Black Op and Cloth Cap. I’m wary of the fact that most firms will have enhanced place terms come declaration time and there is likely to be a near maximum field so I don’t suggest big stakes in a race it may pay to back two each way now and to re-visit come declaration time. So after much deliberation :-

 

BLACK OP 1 point each way @ 8/1 ¼ odds 1-2-3-4  bet365

 

SECRET INVESTOR 1 point each way @ 16/1 ¼ odds 1-2-3-4 BetVictor

 

Secret Investor 1280.600x338.jpg

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I fancied Copperhead and Beware The Bear, but with conditions on the good side I’m going to have to look at it again and probably rule Copperhead out. Don’t think Beware The Bear is good enough to win it and certain trends go massively against him but he’s a great chance of placing. He has a good record at Newbury .

Edited by Villa Chris
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Should be a bit of fun .....where do you start with a race like this ??...so competitive... so to find the value you have to be harsh ......first stage is to narrow the race to a manageable number ......19runners is too much .....this tends to go to a classier horse and that is backed up by the fact that the average winning weight overall is 10-12 plus so straight off I'm chopping horses 14 to19 

Next I dont want anything older than maximum 9 yo .....so horses 1 4 and 8 are out ....

Finally you have to have a certain amount of race experience to go with your class so it's a minimum of 2 wins over chases for me that boots out horses 9 and 11 ......that's good enough for now to create my shortlist...ill work on that and fully rate o er next couple days .....I'm left with currently 

Vindication

Secret investor 

Kildisart 

Sam brown 

Copper head 

Mister malarkey 

Two for gold 

The conditional 

8 horses ....that's a bit better !!!

 

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2 hours ago, Villa Chris said:

I fancied Copperhead and Beware The Bear, but with conditions on the good side I’m going to have to look at it again and probably rule Copperhead out. Don’t think Beware The Bear is good enough to win it and certain trends go massively against him but he’s a great chance of placing. He has a good record at Newbury .

yes I know what you mean about Beware The Bear Chris, hard to see him winning but a good placebet

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47 minutes ago, richard-westwood said:

Should be a bit of fun .....where do you start with a race like this ??...so competitive... so to find the value you have to be harsh ......first stage is to narrow the race to a manageable number ......19runners is too much .....this tends to go to a classier horse and that is backed up by the fact that the average winning weight overall is 10-12 plus so straight off I'm chopping horses 14 to19 

Next I dont want anything older than maximum 9 yo .....so horses 1 4 and 8 are out ....

Finally you have to have a certain amount of race experience to go with your class so it's a minimum of 2 wins over chases for me that boots out horses 9 and 11 ......that's good enough for now to create my shortlist...ill work on that and fully rate o er next couple days .....I'm left with currently 

Vindication

Secret investor 

Kildisart 

Sam brown 

Copper head 

Mister malarkey 

Two for gold 

The conditional 

8 horses ....that's a bit better !!!

 

Its tough Richard isn't it!

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9 hours ago, richard-westwood said:

Should be a bit of fun .....where do you start with a race like this ??...so competitive... so to find the value you have to be harsh ......first stage is to narrow the race to a manageable number ......19runners is too much .....this tends to go to a classier horse and that is backed up by the fact that the average winning weight overall is 10-12 plus so straight off I'm chopping horses 14 to19 

Next I dont want anything older than maximum 9 yo .....so horses 1 4 and 8 are out ....

Finally you have to have a certain amount of race experience to go with your class so it's a minimum of 2 wins over chases for me that boots out horses 9 and 11 ......that's good enough for now to create my shortlist...ill work on that and fully rate o er next couple days .....I'm left with currently 

Vindication

Secret investor 

Kildisart 

Sam brown 

Copper head 

Mister malarkey 

Two for gold 

The conditional 

8 horses ....that's a bit better !!!

 

Cant back a horse that has finished pulled up and fell last 2 runs so copper head is out .....mister malarkey doesn't look good enough now and the conditional although fairly decent has been raised to 147 which looks harsh on balance so he might struggle now .

Likewise vindication who is classy but off 161 isnt screaming well hccapped and looks exposed now so omitted 

That leaves 4 

Secret investor  402 

Kildisart 397

Sam brown  406 

Two for gold 403 

Ratings dont help at this stage as very close so I'll have to ponder it further but shortlist of 4 is good .....yes I could have scrubbed off wrong horse but these 4 have very strong form ....well weighted .....overall given the ground etc I'm drawn towards secret investor who destroyed the field last time and a 9lb rise might not be anywhere near enough given he cantered over the line .....and sam brown who's a novice but has looked a classy one in some races and his hcap mark could be lenient as hes an improving type 

Sam brown 10pt ew 10/1 bet365

Secret investor 10pt ew 12/1 bet365 

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Weren’t happy with how I rated the race up. I’ve done all horses now and it’s ...

Copperhead 22.38

La Bague Au Roi 21.72

Beware The Bear 20

there’s a number of others not far behind  but this is how it’s turned out. I can live with that although I’m surprised La Bague Au Roi rated so highly. I’ve also done my own odds and if I’m going for value bets I should leave Copperhead alone as I’ve worked it out he should be pushing 10/1. The other two offer good value. 
 

If narrowed down to the 9 Richard selected it’s 

Copperhead 22.38

The Conditional 16

Mister Malarky 15.8

Secret Investor 15.2

With only Mister Malarky offering value on his odds. 
 

see how it does anyway, probably a load of crap but fingers crossed. 

Edited by Villa Chris
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15 hours ago, Villa Chris said:

Weren’t happy with how I rated the race up. I’ve done all horses now and it’s ...

Copperhead 22.38

La Bague Au Roi 21.72

Beware The Bear 20

there’s a number of others not far behind  but this is how it’s turned out. I can live with that although I’m surprised La Bague Au Roi rated so highly. I’ve also done my own odds and if I’m going for value bets I should leave Copperhead alone as I’ve worked it out he should be pushing 10/1. The other two offer good value. 
 

If narrowed down to the 9 Richard selected it’s 

Copperhead 22.38

The Conditional 16

Mister Malarky 15.8

Secret Investor 15.2

With only Mister Malarky offering value on his odds. 
 

see how it does anyway, probably a load of crap but fingers crossed. 

It's a very tough race ....I'll be happy with a place tbh given how competitive it is......I can see why people will like copperhead he has some good form when he completes but his jumping is gonna be pushed to the max and I'm not sure he can cope 🤔 I could be wrong ....lol

Edited by richard-westwood
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4 hours ago, richard-westwood said:

It's a very tough race ....I'll be happy with a place tbh given how competitive it is......I can see why people will like copperhead he has some good form when he completes but his jumping is gonna be pushed to the max and I'm not sure he can cope 🤔 I could be wrong ....lol

When you do your ratings is there a large gap between top rated and bottom rated? Also if I’m correct I remember you saying you’ll only have the bet on the top rated if your own odds indicate that it’s value. 

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45 minutes ago, Villa Chris said:

When you do your ratings is there a large gap between top rated and bottom rated? Also if I’m correct I remember you saying you’ll only have the bet on the top rated if your own odds indicate that it’s value. 

Yes sometimes there can be 30 pts between top and bottom in the big races......that way I know I can chop half the field straight off cos if the bottom half dozen win then I would never have picked it anyway lol so I'll happily chop away .....if the top rated horse was say 2/1 .....2nd rated 8/1   3rd rated 8/1 ....then I'd take the top rated on with the 2nd and 3rd rated ew ....as long as only couple points in it....if the top rated was say 4pts clear I'd probably leave the race alone as the value just isnt worth the risk....fight another day 

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I'll stick with my trends analysis as this has worked well the past couple of weeks with the winner coming from the shortlist of 3 in each of the 3 races.

The main stats are :-

89 at forecast odds higher than 10/1, all have lost. This reduces the field to 6.

78 have carried 11st or less and only 2 have won. This reduces the field to 3.

23 have carried 11st 6 lbs or more, all have lost. This reduces the field to 2, KILDISART and COPPERHEAD.

Maybe worth an each way punt on these, especially with bookies paying up to 6 places.

If I had to choose I would probably go with COPPERHEAD as it is a 6 year old although the fact it was pulled up last time is a bit off-putting.

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6 minutes ago, MCLARKE said:

I'll stick with my trends analysis as this has worked well the past couple of weeks with the winner coming from the shortlist of 3 in each of the 3 races.

The main stats are :-

89 at forecast odds higher than 10/1, all have lost. This reduces the field to 6.

78 have carried 11st or less and only 2 have won. This reduces the field to 3.

23 have carried 11st 6 lbs or more, all have lost. This reduces the field to 2, KILDISART and COPPERHEAD.

Maybe worth an each way punt on these, especially with bookies paying up to 6 places.

If I had to choose I would probably go with COPPERHEAD as it is a 6 year old although the fact it was pulled up last time is a bit off-putting.

Makes it seem so simple when you put it like that. Trends fan or not, they are strong statistics you point out there. IF copperhead can get back to business he’s going to take some stopping. Vinndication now 5/1 but never won left handed and can’t see him breaking that statistic on Saturday against such a competitive field. 

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