A 13 strong field looks set to go to post at Newbury on Saturday in this years renewal of the Ladbrokes Trophy, previously known as the Hennessey Gold Cup and the Tom Lacey trained Thomas Patrick leads the field.
He could land the odds after his narrow second at Sandown to Elegant Escape. Lacey is looking forward to seeing his horse in a sharp contest and even more so knowing he has a great chance.
(Credit ATR) Lacey said: “I’d say Newbury could easily end up soft if they end up getting more rain.
“He doesn’t have to lead – he’ll be prominent – but that’s Richard Johnson’s job. You don’t tell Richard how to ride a horse.
“He’s pretty straightforward and he’s in great form. He did his last bit of proper work on Tuesday and Stan Sheppard, who has been riding him, says he feels better than ever.”
Colin Tizzard fields three runners in the race this year with the ante post joint market leader in Elegant Escape his best chance of the lot after his victory on his seasonal opening bow at Sandown in the Future Stars Intermediate Chase. He also saddles West Approach and Sizing Tennessee in the race on Saturday.
The Paul Nicholls trained fan favourite in Black Corton is top weight on the day for the English trainer. He finished a valiant second on his seasonal return in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase and his trainer is very optimistic for his return to the track.
(Credit At The Races) Nicholls said: “He schooled on Wednesday morning and he was on fire – Bryony (Frost) had a job sitting on him.
“He really is very well and that run at Wetherby has brought him on.
“It was a career-best performance (at Wetherby) and it puts him in the mix on Saturday. He’s a big price.
“He’s not the biggest and he’s carrying quite a lot of weight, but the weights are quite close this year and he’s very well.”
Alan King has just one single runner this year in this race and it comes in the way of the well backed Dingo Dollar after having his preparation run over hurdles at Newbury at the start of this month.
(Credit ATR) King said: “I was very pleased with his run over hurdles and everything has gone well since.
“Obviously there’s a lot of rain around and he wouldn’t want the ground too soft. As long as it doesn’t get too desperate, I hope he’ll run well.
“Whether he’s classy enough to win a Ladbrokes Trophy I’m not sure, but I think he deserves to take his chance.”
The rest of the runners that make up the race are Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained pair of Go Conquer and Flying Angel, Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear, Anthony Honeyball’s Ms Parfois, Richard Hobson’s Allysson Monterg, Harry Fry's American and Neil Mulholland’s bottom weight The Young Master complete the line-up.