Ladbrokes Trophy Preview: American to keep unbeaten record
AMERICAN – 6-1 Ladbrokes and Boylesports
It is likely to be several years before Saturday’s Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury is not still referred to as the Hennessy Gold Cup, such is the long-standing history associated with the race’s previous sponsor since it’s inauguration back in 1957. Whoever comes out on top in the 3m 2f contest this weekend however will be more concerned with the generous first prize of £142,375 than the race title.
The horse most likely to go off favourite at 3pm on Saturday afternoon is the Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall who has headed the ante-post market since winning on his first start for his new trainer after joining the Closutton yard from Sandra Hughes two months ago. That victory came in the Munster National at Limerick last month where the eight-year-old justified 2-1 favouritism by easily disposing of his 15 rivals with the minimum of fuss. That performance was off a mark of 129 however and the son of Westerner will have to defy a rise of 18lb if he follow up and at around 9-2 represents little in the way of value in what is always a fiercely competitive heat.
22 Horses stood their ground for the Grade 3 handicap at Monday’s declaration stage headed by 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree on 11st 12lb but the injury-prone ten-year-old will need to put up a Denman-like performance if he is to see off a field of lightly-weighted talented rivals and is best overlooked until showing his recent troubles to be a thing of the past.
So Coneygree attempts to emulate the Tank’s 11st 12lb weight-carrying performance in the Ladbrokes Trophy. This was some race. Vintage Ruby vs Sam Thomas who rode Denman to 2008 Gold Cup glory. Spine tingling. pic.twitter.com/Mmq0LYRrwS— Danny Archer (@dannyarcher96) November 21, 2017
The Tom George-trained Singlefarmpayment looks best of those towards the foot of the handicap with just 10st 8lb to carry as the seven-year-old who found only Un Temps Pour Tout a short head too good in the Ultima Handicap Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival should strip fitter following a promising seasonal reappearance at that course last month.
The one they all have to beat however is American from the in-form stable of Harry Fry. Unbeaten in three starts over fences the Manilas gelding could not have been more impressive on his final outing as a novice when carrying top weight of 11st 12lb to an eight length victory over Rock The Kasbah at Uttoxeter last March. The lightly-raced seven-year-old may have got in lightly off a mark of 157 and with this race being his target for some time the 6-1 available with Ladbrokes and Boylesports looks more than fair about a horse who has the potential to develop into a Gold Cup contender.